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Posted: Thu, 16. Aug 12, 09:48
I added a list of all currently used mods and scripts to the first post.
Posted: Thu, 16. Aug 12, 22:49
Jeremy looked like an ok guy untill the point when he promptly agreed with the evil AI on killing a freighter pilot only to steal his ship!
I'm ok with making a pilot bail by damaging his ship's hull, but this was a little to far.
Posted: Thu, 16. Aug 12, 23:29
Don't give up on him. He was fighting his first battle and probably go carried away. ;(
A dozen freighters and two fighters filled the entire hangar Jeremy had rented to the brim. For days he had been busy stripping them and installing any last usefull system abord the newly bought Magnetar-Class TM, named Eyrie, and preparing the freighters for sale by patching up their hull and systems to a sellable level.
All the while Evy was away, mapping out argon core space and a couple of neighbouring sectors she also enjoyed a new system, they'd salvaged from a pirate buzzard, a software extension allowing Evy to hack an abandoned ship without the need to get in physical contact, effectively removing the need to spacewalk to a ship to salvage it.
A quarter of the ships now docked at this hangar on ringo moons trading station had been found and recovered by her alone. Sometimes, Jeremy was wondering if she'd ever come back, now that she could do pretty much everything on her own, but Evy had grown attached to him somehow, not even thinking of abandoning him.
Fitted with everything usefull, the Magnetar had fully tuned engines and steering jets, an improved cargo capacity, various software upgrades, a mineral scanner, an ore collector, extended life support systems. it's own transporter device and, particulary usefull, a jump drive. 225 mega joule of shielding protected its four hangar bays from the dangers of space and it was fitted with enhanced PACs in the front, and prototyp IREs in the rear turret, providing enough fire power for selfdefense.
As aboard the amber talon, there was a compartment at the bridge designed to house Evys core, but to allow her mobility, Jeremy also equipped one of the Magnetars hangars with the ability to connect the Amber Talon directly to its systems, allowing Evy to acces all of the carriers functions directly without the need to be detached from the fighter.
Finally, Evy returned to Ringo Moon, entering the hangar just a few minutes later. "How are things going?" she asked through the intercom, steering the ship carefully in between the damaged freighters and into the Eyries Hangar Bay.
"Slow. I fitted the Magnetar with everything I found and now our supplies of scrap metal run out. There's nothing left to patch the other freighters back together." "You sound weary." Evy replied. "Maybe a dozen freighters is just a bit to much for a single mechanic to fix. Let's send them to Argon Prime and sell them as they are. As long as they fly, someone will buy them and if we need more money we'll always be able to just find us a new one." Jeremy nodded, dropping his tool box just where he stood. "Guess you're right. Found anything usefull?" "A hostile pirate base in Cloud Base North West. Other then that, standard argon boredom." Evy giggled.
"Funny. We'll need some e-cells to power the jump drive." Jeremy interrupted her. "Power Circle will provide enough to jump to the end of the universe." Evy replied casually. "Besides. Did you made up your mind?" He felt her gaze, even though Evy didn't actually had eyes. "Pardon me?" he asked to buy some time. "I told you, you need to make a decision about your future. Are you going to be a pirate or a lame ass junk trader?" the AS asked blatantly. Jeremy closed his eyes, leaning back into the magnetars pilot seat. "Yes but..." "Cut the crap. Be a man once and decide your fate."
Jeremy sighed. "I don't want to be a junk trader." he replied somewhat hestitant to actually declare his decision in a positive way. "So what? Wanna return to the surface?" Evy teased him. "No!" Jeremy snapped, jumping out of his seat. "I..." "Say it." "I want..." "Do it! Now! Jeremy looked at Evys Avatar angrily. "I want to be a pirate!" "Fine. Now stop talking and get this ship to Power Circle."
Jeremy nodded, gulping at the same time. He still remembered the charred body of the Paranid and doing so put a weight on his chest he was hardly able to bear. Sometimes he wasn't quite sure, if Evy ever wanted his best or just followed her own, twisted agenda. She obviously knew the ways of the pirates, while he didn't know anything about her origins or her history. Even in general, while allways friendly, Evy was quite reserved. But Jeremy knew it was pointless to ask. Boron pirates. What an absurd idea...
The "Eyrie" undocked from the station, following the other freighters, but instead of turning to Argon Prime, Jeremy steered it towards Cloudbase North West, then to the east into Herrons Nebula and entered Power Circle through its south gate.
"I marked the power plant with the cheapest cells." Evy said and a quite visible marker appeared on the map. "Of course only if we take this 'nid out of the picture. You should intercept it." Jeremy nodded, then he realised another way. "We'll wait. If we attack this freighter anyways, we way as well do it after he purchased the cells for us." Evy hestitated, then she grinned. "Not bad."
Jeremy undocked the "Amber Talon" and made his way to the station, not long before the paranid undocked his mercury hauler, filled to the brim with the e-cells Jeremy needed.
Completely helpless while undocking, the paranid had lost his shields before even realising what was happening. On the second go, the advanced PACs mounted aboard the "Amber Talon" burned deep holes into the ships hull. Somewhat content to get out alive, the paranid bailed early and began crawling back to the station, left alone by Jeremy who proceeded to take the now abandoned ship along with its cargo as his own. As usual completely unhindered by an argon official.
"There's a fight going on near the gate, looks like we'll be able to scoop up something." Jeremy agreed, turning the ship towards the west gate, arriving just as the last pirate bit the dust. Not much was left, aside from three burned out husks barely noticable as freighters. Still, Jeremy claimed them, as their engines still worked somehow.
Now, it was time to finally establish themselves on pirate alley and as the jump drive reached full power, a bright flash engulfed the whole ship.
Brennan's Thriumph was buzzing with traders and filled to the brim with new stations build by Argon and Paranid. Ore mines, food factories, everything needed to supply three missile factories with enough materials to provide a fleet with the firepower to level pirate alley. As the "Eyrie" turned towards the south gate and fired its engies.
"What a mess..." Evy sighed. "Not long ago this system was the heart of the Alley and now... ripped out and sliced to pieces." Jeremy remained silent, looking at the map drawn by the gravidar. The sector was ideed sliced, but only in half. The northwester part dominated by paranid owned stations, the southeast filled with Argon facilities.
Interesting enough, it seemed the two states hadn't any immanent interest in conquering the sector from another, instead concentrating on their shared hatred against the pirates.
Traversing to Danna's Chance, the situation got even worse, with the paranid and split settling the sector together. Again not even a single pirate ship was in sight, while traders enjoyed themselves and the new security by the dozens. Nopileus, again divided between Agron and Paranid was the same and even Hativah's Faith had been taken and was now under paranid dominion.
Evy had been quite the whole time. Jeremy looked at her avatars face, wich showed a mixture of inability to believe her sensors and unwillingness about what had become of "pirate alley".
Finally she sighed. "Looks like we've got an even longer way ahead of us then I thought." she said. Jeremy nodded. "So what do we do?" "We need information and allies if we want to survive. I think I know where to get them, but chances are they'll be pretty expensive." Jeremy sighed. "Would be to easy otherwise. What money are we talking?" "About ten million. Maybe more." Jeremy gasped. All his savings amounted to little over eleven Million, wich he'd thought to be quite some money. But apparently he was just wrong about everything. "Initiating Jump Drive." "Where to?" "Cloud Base North West."
Posted: Fri, 17. Aug 12, 19:48
Posted: Sat, 18. Aug 12, 12:19
Docked at the local pirate station, Jeremy left the ship to head for the bar, while Evy "took care of business". The only thing the young men knew, that he'd be considerably less wealthy afterwards, but he told himself to view it as an investment, rather than a loss.
The whole station was noisy, either because of its brawly occupants, or because of the stations insufficiently maintained internal systems. Jeremy found his way to the main cantina and as the door slid open, eyeballed the guests.
Half of them where more on the rough side. Wild beards and hair, martial outfits as if to assure themselves of their pirate nature, the other half consisted of shady but fairly normal characters, some even quite niftily clothed.
Jeremy found himself on the more pragmatic side, dressed in his pilot suit, without any unnecessary appendages. But, and this fact worried him, also only one of half a dozen people without a gun or knife at his side. And probably the only one of those, who didn't look like it was a bad idea to try messing with.
The young man walked up to the bar and signaled the barkeeper. "Waddya wand, kiddo?" the man asked, wiping the counter wihtout cleaning it at all. Jeremy frowned. "A drink." He replied. "Go figu." the man laughed. "Ya even old enuff?" he asked with a smirk. Jeremy sighed. "I'll show you my ID the moment I see your liquor license. Now give me a drink allready." he replied angrily. The barkeeper laughed again. "Aye, Capt'n Kiddo." Jeremy rolled his eyes and sat down on one of the barstools.
"Don't mind him, he's allways like dat." a female voice said. Jeremy turned his head, realising the woman sat right next to him. She had her bobcut died cyanide blue and emerald eyes, a sleek appearance of deadly grace, as intimidating as tempting.
Jeremy gulped, then he tried to smile. "I see." The woman smirked, took a drag on her cigarette and flicked the ashe off afterwards. "You don't happen to have a name?" she asked now smiling. "Talon. Jeremy Talon." the young men answered now slightly smiling himself. "Unfortunately i missed out on your name." She grinned. "I'm Cora Black, and you didn't miss it, I didn't tell you." The barkeeper delivered a blotched glass filled with space fuel, demanding "Five Creds.". Jeremy paid him, raising the glass afterwards and taking a sip. "Nice to meet you, Miss Black." She nodded. "Nice to meet you too, Captain Talon. Haven't heard this name around here for some time."
Jeremy's eyebrow rose. "For some time?" he asked "I don't think I've been here before.". A grin leveled Coras face. "I just gave you the chance to hide that you're ne.... F*ck." "Red Alert. Incoming hostiles, all hands prepare for battle. Red Alert. Incoming hostiles, all hands prepare for battle."
Suddenly the whole bar was illuminated by red lights and everyone inside started to get busy. "Time to leg it." Cora said, flipping her cigarette behind the bar, getting on her feet and dragging Jeremy along with her to the flight deck.
"Jerry, get your lame ass to the ship. There's a argon battle group approaching." Evy informed over the Com. "I'm on my way." he replied. "Who are you talking to?" Cora asked, both of them still running and Jeremy now free from her grasp. "Are you friends with the argon?" he replied, ignoring her question. "Not in particular, why?" [color=because they've launched this attack."[/color] Cora cursed the stars, as the first hits shook the station.
"Follow me, I'll give you a ride." Jeremy shouted over the sound of several explosions. "Move it you snail!" Cora hadn't much time to think about the offering, but as a pirate with less then friendly connections to the argon military she was pretty sure to end up as target practice anyways, so she kept follwing Jeremy until the reached the hangar.
The "Eiry" was allready leaving her hangar bay, approaching the gates at a speed allowing the two pirates to barely keep up and intercept it. As they leaped aboard, the airlock closed behind them and the ship left the stations hangar.
Some stray shots hit the Eiry's shields, but before any damage got through, Evy engaged the jump drive, to hop to the systems South Gate, to watch the mayhem from a safe distance.
Cora and Jeremy where still gasping for breath, the woman sitting, leaning against the wall, the young man on all fours. "Nice ship." Cora broke the silence as if to cover up the fear. "Thanks." Jeremy replied. "I'll show you around later. Evy, report." "Noone is following us. The stations shields are about to collapse and half of the ships defending it are destroyed. The station will be destroyed within a few minutes." The AS replied. "You've brought a guest. Care to introduce us?" Jeremy nodded. "Sure, sure. Miss Black, Evy. Evy, Cora Black." Cora looked at the screen wich showed Evy's avatar. "Ehr, hi." "Welcome aboard Miss Black. Are you planning to stay?" Jeremy sighed. "Cut it Evy. We've more important things to worry about right now. Did you finish your business?" Jeremy stood up, offering Cora a hand, wich she gladly accepted. "Affirmative. I'll tell you everything once you are on the bridge." Jeremy gave the screen a nod, then turned to Cora. "You ok?" She nodded slightly. "I'm fine. Who's that woman? Your partner?" Jeremy grinned. "Kind of." The woman seemed sceptical. "Kind of what?" Jeremy shrugged. "Come, you'll see for yourself."
Entering the bridge, the two were able to see the pirate station, still under attack by the argon and about to explode. On the tactical screen, Evy had placed a map of the sectors known to them.
"Okay, get started." Jeremy sat down offering Cora a seat with a slight gesture. The woman looked around, apparently searching for Evy. "I've successfully made contact to the Blue Fire Clan and was able to convince them we're be promising allies. It did cost us eleven million credits, though." Jeremy sighed. "Blue Fire, huh? You're more then one'd expect." "I take that as a compliment. However, since pirate alley has been taken by the commonwealth races, the Clan has lost much of his steady income and takes its time to regroup somewhere in the eastern colonies. I acquired access to a base located in freedoms reach. Considering our relation to the Argon and the strong paranid presence there, we should be pretty safe and get plenty of prey." Jeremy looked at the map, wich now showed the sectors in question.
"Not many pirates nowadays are friends to the Federation." Cora commented. "Looks like a neat idea." "It is. However I don't know what you're doing here in the first place." Jeremy noticed Evys unusual undertone, but decided not to ask for it. "She needed a ride." he aswered the question wich wasn't directed at him. "And now I need a ship." Cora added, as the pirate base ended its existence in a huge explosion. "And as I see it, you could use a crew. So I may just stick around for a bit." She smiled at Jeremy. "If that's okay with you." "No." "Yes, of course." Jeremy glared at Evy angrily. "Don't be rude." The AS returned his gaze. "Don't be naive." Cora just smiled, quite obviously amused.
"Oh my..." Jeremy looked at her Avatar. "What is it now?" he asked, but instead of answering, Evy replaced her own image with a X-News-Net broadcast.
"Today, officials of all commomwealth races declared the systems formerly known as pirate alley pacified.
According to the diplomats, a joint strike fleet dismantled the last pirate stronghold, nicknamed an Anarchy Port far from the ecliptic in Hatikvah's Faith. Furthermore, the sector will officially be placed under surveillance of the profit guild to make sure the pirates will not gain a new hold on it.
Critics, mainly from the neutral worlds, call the pacification an imperialistic advance, but chances are they remain unheard."
The report was cut, as Evy deemed the rest unecessary and reappeared on the screen. "Shoot." Cora had turned pale. Jeremy looked at her, pretty sure he couldn't understand how grave the situation was. "Sounds bad." he commented, feeling silly as he did. "Pretty bad." Evy confirmed. "The anarchy ports are heavily fortified pirate stations, they're the heart of what could be considered outlaw society. The destruction of either one will shift the balanced among the clans. throwing the pirate world into turmoil."
Cora gasped. As Jeremy turned his eyes towards her, he saw tears leveling her eyes. "Miss Black?" he asked unecessarily polite. Cora sobbed, burrying her face in her hands. Helplessly, Jeremy just sat accross from her, unable to decide on how to handle the crying woman.
For about an hour they sat in the cockpit, Cora sobbing first, quitly crying later and finally raging and cursing everyone and everything across the galaxy.
"I will kill them all." she vowed with grim determination. Supprisingly, it was Evy who encouraged her first. "I'll be at your side." Jeremy, confused, eyeballed the screen. "You're going to help her?" he asked. The avatar nodded. "Since I awakened in that buster, everything I wanted was to return to pirate alley. To revive the legacy of my creator. Now I'm here and they took it from us. I'll take the Amber Talon and accompany her. Keep the Eiry and half of our funds." Jeremy was baffled, then angered. "I won't let you go." he answered, slamming his fist to the table. "How are you planning ot hold us back?" Evy asked ironically. "I don't plan to stop you. I'll help you. This is my ship, and if you like it or not, you're my partner. You'll have to bear with me."
Posted: Sat, 18. Aug 12, 20:38
Posted: Sun, 19. Aug 12, 12:49
Cora was a bit sceptic, as Jeremy and Evy told her, they had decided to aid her in revenge. A nerd girl and a greenhorn, out to reconquer pirate alley. Laughable. Still, somehow the burning determination shared between them made her believe they could pull it off.
She wiped the last tears of and took a deep breath, JEremy and Evy both starring at her. "You're insane. Both of you." she said with a smirk. "But I guess I'am as well, so just f*ck it." An akward smile appeared on her face und her emerald eyes lit up with dauntless fire. "Where do we start?"
Silence. Jeremy and Cora both started to grin after some time. "We need intel and we need ressources. Both are to be found on pirate alley. I still have the coordinates of the pirate base in Freedoms Reach. If we stick to the old plan, we should be able to build up from there. If what I've gathered is correct, the sector is formally claimed by the Teladi now, so it should be pretty safe." Evy broke the silence, and both others agreed. "Fine. Freedoms Reach it is then. Maybe I'll be able to activate some of my contacts to find out more."
Said, and done, in a bright flash the ship disappeared into the warp tunnel and exited the north gate of Freedoms Reach just a few moments later. Jeremy, taking the helm, steered the ships towards the coordinates provided by Evy, until the sensors revealed the stations exact location.
"Hiding in our own sectors." Cora sighed, as they approached the hangar gates. "We got docking clearance." Jeremy focused, steering the Eyrie clear of any harmfull obstacle.
The pirate station was in bad shape, apparently it had been abbandoned for years prior to the current events. Loose cables and panels all over the place and just a few, severely battered ships strewn about the flight deck, most of them with seemingly fresh burn marks.
Jeremy carefully taxied the Eiry to its bay, until the docking clamps finally made contact and locked the ship into position. Analyzing the local market, Evy wasn't quite content. "I wouldn't really name this thing a station. It's more like a husk filled with refugees. I notice a severe need for about everything, we may even find a buyer for this Delexian Weed we picked up a while ago and free some cargo space."
Jeremy nodded, then turned to the screen showing her avatar. "Sell the wheat and anything else we don't need. I'll take a walk with Cora and see what intel we find." "Affrimative."
Again, Jeremy noticed his lack of a sidearm in comparison to about everyone else and felt a bit uncomfortable about it. Not that he didn't trust Coras ability to defend herself and him, but the thought of staying back and hiding behind the woman just didn't feel right.
No sign of her breakdown had remained, instead she seemed to be just the girl she had been as Jeremy saw her for the first time. Without the need for directions, Cora found her way to the Stations atrium and looked around. Only a few stores were opened, some more setting up business right now and the majority closed down for years.
"Come." They entered a shop with a big "news" sign posted above it. The man behind the counter was a brawny aged pirate, completely with eyepatch and a lot of scars covering the right of his face and neck. Jeremy assumed, the old man would be grumpy by nature, but as he saw Cora, his mood brightened up. "So you're alive kid." he said, eyeballing her first. "And not a scratch, as allways. I wish they all'd the same luck as you." Cora smirked. "Good to see you to, old geezer." The man grinned. "Suck up to me later. Got yourself a plaything?" He raised his chin, pointing it at Jeremy.
The young man kept his cool, just as Cora had told him. He still heard her words "They'll try to provoke you, don't give in. Show them you've confidence enough to not rely on their approval." and following this advice, he returned the mans gaze without saying anything at all. "Maybe he got himself something to play with." Cora countered. Blood rushed into Jeremys head, who felt the heat, yet hoped the other man wouldn't notice. But to no question he did. "Sure Honey, whatever you say. Whad'ya want?" he asked with a smirk. "Anything you know about the Faith." Now the mans mood dropped again, as well as his smile. "Nothing good. The port is gone and everyone able to leave it either shot or hiding somewhere in deep space. Legacy-Port is going to be under fire pretty soon according to the last news we got from there, but the Squids will probably be easier to handle then 'Nids 'n' Feds." He snorted. "With CBNW and Clouds now also gone, there're not much bases left in the old world." Cora bit her lip. "What about the Yaki?" she asked. "Everything south of Savage Spur is Teladi Territory now." Jeremy gulped, asking himself from where the commonwealth suddenly pulled the ressources to root out the pirates to such a degree. "If the Paranid are going to take Faith, they'll wanna conduct some kind of blessing ritual." Cora conlcuded. "Porbably, but why would you care? Have you met GoD or something?" The woman snorted. "Cut it. If they want to bless a sector, they'll need some high ranked priests, find out how they're gonna transfer them." The shop owners brow rose. "What's on your mind, girl?" "Not your business, geezer. Just get the info."
Turning on her heel, she left the shop with Jeremy following her closely. "You want to kill these priests?" he asked. "No. I'll have them work the mines."
Nothing else of value was to be found on the station, and about an hour after leaving, the two returned to the Eiry, where Evy was allready waiting form them. "I've arragned some fitting for the ship. Cargo Life Support, several Software upgrades and the like, but I need someone to supervise everything directly. So I suggest you head to cargo bay, Jerry." Evy welcomend them, and Jeremy of course took the advice, giving a slight nod to Cora, who herself turned towards her quarters, intend on turning them into some kind of a home.. "Evy?" "Yes?" "Try to find something about a high priority personal transport, the 'Nids send to Hatikvah's Faith. They'll be our next target. Jeremy is informed." "Affirmative. I'll do my best." "Thanks."
As soon as the fitting finished, the Eyri and its crew made their way into Nopileos Memorial, still formerly owned by the Argon, even though a crapload of paranid installations dwarfed the three argon stations by far.
Still, the space between the Argon Trade Dock and the eastern gate was easily controlled by the federation and an ideal hunting ground for Jeremy and his companions.
Some small adjustments to the Amber Talons loadout - supervised by Cora - lowered the damage done to some degree, but also allowed for a much better energy management.
Still the shields of most freighters failed after one or two goes, while Jeremy also got more skilled as he practiced both steering and shooting. Within a few hours, they captured a number of paranid freighters as well as the bailed pilots, without the need to kill more but three 'Nids wich chose to hold onto their ships until they turned to space dust.
The first time Jeremy had even thought about letting a freighter get away with its last percent of integrity left, but the ungrateful priest just tried to shoot him with his tiny IRE. His choice, and this time Jeremy didn't feel the urge to vomit.
The bailed pilots where turned over to local argon authorities wich where highly unlikely to ask questions if it concerned paranids and handled everything needed to send the three-eyes home.
"I've found something interesting." Evy said, making sure both Jeremy in the Talon as well as Cora Aboard the Eiry would hear it. "Tell me." Jeremy replied. "A Hermes en route to Hatikvah's Faith. The transport started out in Dana's Chance, right after the 'Nids broadcastet the blessing ceremony live."
Cora brightened up. "The priests." she concluded and was proven right by the AS. "Time to leave them 'Nids a message."
"Whats your plan?" "Get into position behind them and make sure you'll be able to blast their Shields off at my command." Cora grinned, allready on the way to the transporter. "Evy, have the Eyri intercept them and get me into transporter range." "What?" "If you wish so. But I remind you, the Eyri isn't a combat ship." "What's on your mind Cora?" Jeremy rephrased his former question. "Don't ask, just be ready."
A series of heavy impacts shook the ship, bringing the shields down to about twenty percent. The pilot opened a channel to the passing Solano and startet his rant about improper behaviour by inferior beings, as a blue light appeared in front of his ship. Suddenly, there was a woman in space, without a Spacesuit, but armed with a high calibre rifle.
Cora grinned, as she pointed the gun at the Hermes' cockpit window and started firing. THe rounds pierced it with ease, drawing a circle on it, and wounding the pilot, wich was sucked out into space as the damaged window gave in to the pressue.
The woman propelled herself towards the incoming ship shootin backwards and activated its emergency lockup as she entered. Immediatly the cockpit was sealed and filled with air again.
Cora exhaled, immediatly regrettiig it, as the paranid smell filled her lungs with the next breath. But it didn't stop her in any way. She opened the door to the passenger cabin, shooting the first guard as he turned to the opening door and the second across the passenger compartment, turning her gun to the third, and executing him as well, before he was even able to understand what happened. "Freeze." she yelled at the eleven priests who still sat on their seats. "If even one of you moves I'll gladly put a hole in his head." She activated the ComLink "Ship secured."
Jeremy stood looking at the hole in the ships front screen. Evy just took control of the systems, and Cora was still in the back keeping the priests at bay and insulting them in any way imageninable. "Insane..." he wispered. "This girl is just insane."
Posted: Tue, 21. Aug 12, 19:27
Posted: Sat, 25. Aug 12, 14:23
Face the Facts
Jeremy closed his eyes to the truth. Cora was bartering for the price the pirates would pay for their new load of slaves, to be exploited in the mines until they finally died of exhaustion or at the whim of some overseer.
He felt pity for the priests. Even though he pledged himself to restore pirate alley, some aspects of his new way of life were just abhorrent.
However, the most abhorrent thing he just experienced was his inabillity, even unwillingness to keep Cora from selling them. It wasn't about money, not about anything even remotely important. Just about revenge. "Make sure to place some footage of their work where the 'Nids will find it." she said to the slaver, checking her account. "Now get them out of my sight."
The following days passed without any major event. Jeremy and his crew kept on robbing paranids of their ships and handed them to the Argons, earning them the "title" of gentlemen pirates.
First, Cora had argued against the decision to not sell them into slavery, but slowly she learned to respekt it, as the attacked seemed more inclined to leave their ships, knowing they wouldn't get shot or abused further and any captured ship easily outweighed the loss of some slaves, as far as money was concerned.
"Jeremy, do you copy me?" "Yes. What's up? Done sleeping?" Cora snorted. "F*ck you. There isn't much to do for me without a ship, you know?" "Of course, I forgot, I'm sorry, dear." Jeremy replied ironically, prompting Evy to comment "Better prepare for your dear attacking you with claw and teeth." "You know whad? Get me this Eclipse and I'll reconsider leaving you alive." Jeremy was actually able to hear her smiles reflection in her voice. "You should date me, before asking for gifts." he taunted her, laughing. "Maybe I'll show you my tits." she returned perky, getting Jeremy to blush. Just about to feel relieved she couldn't see it, Evy blew him. "Struck a nerve there." she commented, this time allowing Cora to hear her too. Both woman started to giggle, while Jeremy bristled with anger and turned the ship towards the desginated Eclipse.
A quick scan revealed the ships subpar shields, only a single 25MJ module. However the weapon loadout was quite heavy, so jeremy figured it would be a good idea to make it a short fight.
The first salvo fried the enemies shields attacking frontal, Jeremy made sure he'd be out of the ships main guns reach as the pilot realised what happened. He turned, switching to his PRG and started to eat away at the Eclipses hull. The ships rear turret opened fire, but Jeremy was good enough of a pilot to dodge most of the pacs shots fairly easy, more concerned about staying behind the better armed ship and aiming for its weapons - not an easy task against the sleek design. All the while Evy spammed the enemy with offerings to spare his life if he'd leave his ship.
As the Eclipses rear turret was destroyed and the pilot still unable to get the faster Solano of his rear, the battle was over, but spitting on his enemy, the pilot released a crapload of drones before ejecting himself, in an attempt to save his life as well as scare scavengers away from the ship.
"Twenty enemy drones launched, all targeting us. I'm rerouting energy to the shields, you shouldn't need that much firepower to kill them." "Just try no to fry my ship. I'll bring the Eyri in to help you clean up." "Just try not to fry your ship."
Jeremys grip around the steering column tightened, in a series of quick turns and roles he did his best to evade the drones attacks, all the while trying to get one of them down. One after one the drones faded away, however, Jeremys Shileds had dropped to a critical level, as double the time it took to take out the Eclipse passed until the final one bit the dust with some help of the Eyris turrets.
"My ship looks like charcoal." Cora explained soon after Jeremy caught his breath. "If you don't stop complaining, I'll sell it to someone less critical." he replied, not in the mood to play one of Coras games this time. "Get hangar three ready, I'll dock it."
"Fried, fried, fried, completely fried." Cora sighed, removing the damaged components and replacing them with new ones, while Jeremy was busy fixing an advanced HEPT they were able to salvage from the ship and Evy had been instructed to use the docking bays repair lasers to iron out the scorchmarks and dents in the ships hull plating.
"Maybe we should think about hiring some mechanics. Doing all this on our own takes ages." Jeremy put the last part of the weapons casing in place and bolted it down. "As good as new." Cora locked a new power coupling in place, connecting the ships engine to it's main power relay. "Well, I could think of better things to do." she answered, stretching her back. Jeremy found himself peeping at her breast, well pronounced by the tight flight suit. Blushing, he turned away and made his way to the other side of the ship. "We need to get to the base anyways to buy a proper shield for this thing, shouldn't be to hard to find someone willing to join us. Especially if Cora keeps poking her tits in everyones face."
Cora grinned, though Jeremy couldn't see it. "Don't think I didn't saw you staring at them." she reminded him playfully, ripping another burned power cuppling from the ship.
Again the young man blushed, gratefull she couldn't see him. "I'm not an expert, but I think both of you should either concentrate on the task at hand and stop flirting, or just fully commit." Evy intervened somewhat unnerved. Jeremy smirked, replying: "You're right, you aren't an expert."
Cora rolled her eyes. "And again he just enjoys punching me in the face." she sighed, barely loud enough for Jeremy to hear. "Isn't he cute?" the AS replied, leaving the young captain to wonder about what she meant. Cora just nodded with a smirk and locked the replacement coupling in place.
"This is Ana Peraii for X-News-Net, broadcasting live. Today the Teladi confirmed the Yakis return and the subsequent battles around Weavers Tempest and the other former Yaki systems. The paranid announced military help for their profit guild allies, relocating most of the fleets used to level pirate alley some time ago to the sectors in question.
In return, pirate representative Kol Rem declared in an open broadcast all over the commonwealth:
"The commonwealths notion about the destruction of our brotherhood is foolish, and we will punish everyone who dares to underestimate the power of the clans. Enjoy your so called peace as long as it lasts."
While officials dismiss these words as those of a raging lunatic, word of a new united pirate guild spreads among the free traders."
Coras face showed an expression between relief and curiosity. "Did you find thise transmission?" she asked Evy, who allready loaded the message in question to the monitor. "Of course. And there're actually several encrypted files attached. I was able to open some of them." "You opened them?" "Sure. I still have some things left from before our meeting." "More importantly, what did you find?" "Enough to find the new joint headquarters of the clans."
Evy had tracked the new center of the pirate world to a sector called Gaian Star, supposedly located somewhere beyond the Maelstrom. Neither Jeremy nor Cora knew the sectors location and even Evy wasn't able to decrypt enough data to pinpoint a way to access it.
The way to the Maelstrom however was fairly easy to determine, as the sector appeared in several Teladi databases and neighbored Merchant Heaven. "Xenon Sector 347 has been taken by Split Forces several Days ago, and should provide easy acess to Omicron Lyrae." Evy introduced the route she had planned. "Its just a few jumps from there to Belt of Aquilar and into the Teladi Colonies east of it."
Jeremy smiled, the thought of a lenghty trip east sparking his lust for exploration. "If I remember correctly, there was some babbling about Omicron and Earth." he said. Cora nodded. "I don't know about babble, but if you want to visit the Sol System, we need to travel through Omicron Lyrae, that's right."
Cora leaned back, gazing out of the cockpit window. "If you really want to take such a trip, we have to consider getting a crew again." she remarked. "I got into contact with some old friends, an it looks like they could use a job." Jeremy eyeballed her, unable to read her pretty face. "Old friends?" He asked, a hint of scepticism in his voice. "Jealous?" Coras gaze pierced the young man, she smirked. "I'm flattered. But they're just friends i grew up with. Skilled in engineering and mechanics, and all of them pretty good fighters." Jeremy grinned, "Sounds good to me. As long as they accept me as the captain." Again Cora smirked. "Your hubris is so cute." she taunted him, lifting herself from the chair. "What do you think, Evy?"
"As far as I was able to assemle intel about them, I think they'll be suited to join us. This Yalos-guy is especially interesting. Quite a mage when it comes to code, even though I don't think he could match me."
"Don't know, this hacking thing isn't mine, but if you think they're right, I guess we have a new crew." "Affirmative." Jeremy gazed at both woman. "You decide this without me?" "Affirmative." Cora grinned. "You're ignorant anyways." she commented and left the bridge.
Jeremy turned his attention to Evy. "Why do you do this to me?" "Because you're a child, Jeremy Talon. You would refuse her offer just because you think you'd look weak if you did." "Did you just say..." "Affirmative. And if I may advise you: If you were as mature as you think you are, my words wouldn't agitate you, but get you thinking."
Jeremy left the bridge without a word. He wasn't sure if he felt worse about being ignored, or about being so easy to read for a mere AI. If even Evy thought of him as childish, what would Coras thoughts about him be?
He entered his private quarters and sat down on his bed, burrying his face in his hands. He had to admit he wasn't a captain, not even close to being one. Both Evy and Cora where far more experienced in everything aside from reparing ships and maybe how to live at the surface of a world, but neither ability was enough to be the leader of a group of pirates. Maybe it was the better choice to leave the command to Cora, or even Evy.
As his thoughts started to spin and the ugly claws of depression reached out of an abyss of doubt, the door slid open with a slight sizzle. A womans silhouette stood out against the bright light flooding in from the hallway. As Jeremys gaze rose and the door closed, he recognized Cora, her flight suit unzipped below her bellybutton and peeling of her shoulders as if it would fall any second.
Jeremy gulped. "You're such an idiot." she wispered, leaning forward, and reaching out for his cheek. Instinctivly, the young man huddled his face against the soft hand carressing him. "I'm sorry." he replied, closing his eyes to preserve the memory of this sight for all eternity. Her breath stroking his throat. "You shouldn't be." her voice was now barely audible, as her lips met his. "I'm kinda into idiots." she added after a brief first kiss, pushing him back into the mattress. "As long as they don't think they'd ever own me." She sealed his lips with a kiss, and Jeremy knew well enough not to say anything.
As Jeremy woke up the next day, he was alone, and everything seemd to be the same as ever, save for a slight trace of her smell. Jeremy wondered, if it had been a dream, but was soon enough torn from his thoughts by Evys voice. "We are approaching Freedoms Reach. The new crewman Cora recommended are waiting in the hangar bay. You should get dressed before welcoming them." The young argon grinned. "You want me to welcome them?" he asked, fishing for his shirt. "You're the captain after all." Jeremy hesitated, but half a second later a smile formed on his face. "Yes I am."
Posted: Tue, 28. Aug 12, 00:08
Any constructive comment is appreciated.
Posted: Tue, 28. Aug 12, 03:19
Apart from a few typos, all I have to say is MOAR!
Seriously, I really like this story and can't wait to see where you're going with it.
Posted: Tue, 28. Aug 12, 09:59
Thanks. Hopefully I'll be able to live up to the expectations.
Half a minute before the ship reached its parking position, Jeremy had finished his shower and apeared at the main airlock. Casually dressed in Jeans and T-Shirt he obviously did not plan on leaving the station particulary soon.
Cora awaited him, greeting the young man with a slight nod and her usual smile, with no sign whatsoever hinting at the last night. Again having Jeremy wonder if it had been real or not. "I guess we should teach you how to use one of these."
she remarked out of the blue, tapping the pistol at her side. "Probably."
Jeremy eyeballed the five people waiting outside through the airlocks window.
Three Humans, probably of Argon heritage and two Teladi.
Among the three Argons, two of them were male, and one female, the latter catching Jeremys gaze first. A petite, slender appearence dressed in an oil stained overall, with blonde wavy hair, cut to medium-lenght. She seemed kind of boyish, yet indisputably a girl, her age hard to determine but probably somewhere between sixteen and twentyfour.
The man to her right was bulky like a tank and in any regard a giant. Dressed in worn-out clothes, he had his hair cut to a red dyed mohawk. Everything about him screamed pirate and the gun at his side in combination with the rifle on his back printed it in bold for every last idiot to understand.
To the girls left on the other hand stood a wiry man about 1.75m tall with short black hair and a three day beard. His skintone was slightly darker then the others and his facial features revealed a dominant asian heritage. Dressed casually with a knack for pockets, hewas probably the most reserved of the three, as the airlock opened and Cora went to greet them.
The Teladi, for Jeremy, looked like all lizards, and were only distinguishable by their colors, one being bronze, the other dark green.
"Guys, this is Jeremy, Jeremy Talon. He'll be your captain, if you take the job. Jeremy, these are Erine..."
she pointed at the tank. "... Mayenne, Frank, ...
now at the girl and the wiry one and finally at the teladi. "... Yalos and Ganatos."
The first to be introduced was the bronce one.
Jeremy gave each of them a nod, as they were indroduced and afterwards took a couple of seconds to eyeball everyone of them again. "Well, well."
he said. "Cora thinks you're the right people to help our cause and I think she knows you well enough. Get your stuff into the ship, she'll show you your quarters."
A look towards Cora, she nodded with a smirk. "You'll be paid a fair share of our booty and won't have to worry about essentials while you're aboard. I guess that's fair enough. But right now I've other things to take care of. You may excuse me."
Jeremy gave Cora a nod and made his way towards the lift to the upper levels. The ship needed to be refilled with supplies, water and most importantly: fuel.
Three hours later, Jeremy finally returned to the ship and found the new crewmembers allready settled. Most of them hanging out in the ships recreation room, save for the bronze teladi and Mayenne.
"Hey there, Captain. Now time to chit-chat?"
the wiry one asked, a grin so big it reached both ears on his face. Jeremy smirked. "Sure."
je asnwered, stitting down at the table, but refusing the offered space fuel.
For hours the new comrades talked about the world, R'Gunne and anything else, but especially about their exploits.
Jeremy learned, that Erine had been a "selfmade shipwright" building Fighters from scraps to sell to the most desperate spacers. Mayenne, a skilled mechanic, had helped him in his business ventures and Jeremy came to notice an undertone indicating the guy had a crush on her, but was unwilling to admit it even to himself. Besides, as the son of a close friend of Coras father, the two practically knew each other from the cradle and she was like a sister to him.
Frank was more on the brawly side of things, who came to know Cora by eating her fist in a fight between drunk pirates. He obviously admired the green Teladi for her fighting prowress and had become a close friend to Erine after being introduced to him by Cora.
The green Teladi, Ganatos, had been working as a "security advisor", teaching everyone able to pay enough creditsss the ways of combat, both personal and armed. She had been a teacher to Frank prior to meeting the rest of the bunch and was now married to Yantis, the bronze Teladi and actually one of the few male lizards to ever leave Ianamus Zura, who made a living and an art of programming and hacking.
When Jeremy reached the bridge hours later, he found Evy and Yantis working on something he thought to be some new programm. "How are you doing?"
he asked both of them, strolling to the pilot seat. "Exceptionally. Yantis had some greate ideas to enhance the ships turrets. We were able to increase their effectiveness by approximately 359.6613 percent." " Approximately.
Jeremy grinned. "Sounds good. And what are you doing now?" "Evy had ssssome ideassss to improve her capabilitiessss in hacking shipssss. We're currently working on a way to accessss an enemy shipssss computer without the need to shoot it to pulp until the pilot comessss to hissss ssssenssssessss."
Jeremys right brow rose. "Sounds interesting." "I will inform you once the system is ready. By the way, May is working on the Eclipse, maybe you want to do something usefull."
Jeremy grinned slightly. "I'll leave you alone."
he replied and turned around, to leave the bridge, hearing Yantis voice again as the door started closing. "You shouldn't be rude towards the captain."
The captain found his new chief mechanic hanging above the Eclipse, suspended from free fall only by a pair of old straps connecting her to the hangar crane. "Impressing."
the young man commented. "Helps me to keep my hands steady."
she answered without looking at him. Instead, she carefully removed a damaged circuit board from the ships engine and threw it onto the hangar floor. "I hope you've got a new TCR."
Jeremy turned to one of the storage racks and started searching for the component. "If I remember correctly, I slavaged one from that buzzard a while ago... Ah, there it is."
Jeremy took the TCR and made his way to the shi, easily leveling it singlehanded and passing the circuit board to the girl. "Thanks."
Jeremy oberserved her, as she incorporated the part into the engine. The man himself would've removed the engine alltogether to be able to access the small thing, but Mayenne seemed to ignore such boundaries and integrated the TCR in miraculous time.
"I wonder if your work is about skill or about magic."
Jeremy commented, earning a slight smile. "I guess I had the best teachers. Sometimes I just... feel whats wrong with a maschine. You're a mechanic yourself, are you?" "Seeing you I wouldn't say that anymore."
The girl smiled again. "Thanks, but one compliment a day is enough."
she replied with a wink. "I'll remember it."
With Jeremy, Erin and Mayenne working together and the occasional help by Cora and Frank, the Eclipse' repairs proceeded at a significantly faster pace. However, it still took them a week to get the ship in shape and all the weapons repaired as well as installed.
At the same time, Evy and Yantis completed and tested their new hacking tool, nicknamed "Jack", simply put a rocket-drone-hybrid programmed to seek out the enemy, penetrate its hull and connect to the ships computers. The details remained less then clear to most of the crew, but apparently Evy and Yantis were content with the design and May proved skilled enough to build the prototype.
All the while, Ganatos and Frank took turns taking care of the helm and observing the ships autopilot, while the ship made his way down to Montalaar. There, Evy decided it was time to field test the new device, as a paranid weapons dealer appeared in scanner range.
Cora, bored of sitting on the ship doing nothing for days on end agreed, if only for an excuse to test the eclipse as well and Jeremy had neither the intention nor the power to stop them.
Not even five minutes after the confirmed contact both fighters were launched. The Amber Talon was primarily on escort duty for the heavier and considerably slower M3, however, as Evy was aboard the M4, it was also the carrier for "Jack". "Remember, we only want to kill its shields, not the hull."
she reminded Cora over the Com. "I'll do my best."
Jeremys Hand closed around the sterring column. Evy would be pretty busy hacking the ship and wasn't the best pilot anyways. "Traget in firing range. Weapons loaded. Attacking in three, two, one. Fire."
The Epcplise spit fire, blue for the most part, produced by an array of four advanced PACs, and supplemented by the green of an experimental HEPT. The volley practically pulverized the enemy shields. "Enemy shields down to 5 percent. Now we need to keep them down."
Jeremy nodded, activating the PRG and opening fire himself. " 'Jack' launched."
The small missile was barely noticable, no comparison to even a Wasp and as of that pretty save from AMD-Systems.
But Jeremy had no time to think further. The paranid launched his drones, no less then twenty of these pesky flies. Jeremy gnarled, swung the ship around and killed the first one the moment it tried to fire up its engines. " 'Jack' has reached the target. Hull penetrated."
The Talons shields flickered, again Jeremy turned to get out of the enemies IRE barrage, trying to target one of the little buggers, but they kept evading his crosshair, much to the pilots distress. " 'Jack' connected to the enemy system. "
Jeremy ignored the paranids swearing. In quick succession he eliminated three drones, when suddenly the ship started shaking like mad. "Shields down to 70%."
Evy alarmed. "CORA! OPEN YOUR EYES AND LOOK WHAT THE F*CK YOU'RE SHOOTING AT!"
the young man yelled. "Sorry."
A drone crashing into the small ship diverted Jeremys attention away from Coras missfired shot, back onto the main problem. "Enemy firewalls broken. Starting take over procedures."
At least one part of the operation went without problems, Jeremy thought, turning again and failing again to hit one of the drones.
"Overwriting owner data. Ejecting pilot. Take over complete."
Evy reported and Jeremy saw the ship changing into his possession, its cargohold filled with several hundred missiles. Missiles. Jeremy smirked. "Evy, beam some of these warheads over, if the ships is able to load them." "Affirmative."
The Amber Talon turned time after time to get the drones as little time as possible to wittle down the ships shields. Cora seemed to think it was easier to just ram the drones, seeing how the third or fourth caught fire and exploded colliding with the Eclipses shields.
"Missiles loaded and armed."
Jeremys face was leveled by a smile. Target, fire, target, fire, target, fire. A triumphant roar filled the Amber Talons cockpit, as the last drone met her maker - or whatever afterlife drones had. "I love fireworks." "I think there'd been a better way to use these."
Jeremy grinned. "Maybe. Whatever, nice work with this 'Jack'-thing." "Thanks."
Posted: Wed, 29. Aug 12, 08:07
Wow, rather hard to start reading this *the first chapter was a bit of a handful* but after it was hard to stop! Kudos man! this is an amazing story, keep it up bud!
Posted: Thu, 30. Aug 12, 08:30
@Nathen: That's kinda normal, as I usually just fire up the game and take notes to see where the game takes me, until the game has chosen its direction and the story begins to unfold. I'm not quite into storyboards or something, I just happen to write it down as it happens either ingame or in my head. Anyways, thanks.
On a side note: 'Jack' is the instory representation of the "Ship Hijacker"-Script. It allows you to beam a computer component onto the enemy ship (at 0 shields] and then tries to overtake the enemy in several steps, each with a chance to fail and finally ejects the pilot if all checks are completed. Pretty neat to capture freighters with (tested it in another game before introducing it) but risky, as it takes a while to work, so using it in a heated dogfight isn't the best idea and it isn't able to capture ships of M6-Class or above.
Posted: Mon, 10. Sep 12, 16:52
Running the Gauntlet
Aquilars Belt. The autopiloted Eiry steared clear of the gate and several beeping sounds woke Jeremy from his slumber. Days on end the small ship had crawled at an amazing 110m/s to finally reach the argon sector farthest to the east of explored space. Jeremy left his bed, stretching his neck and recalling the last days events.
They had reached Omicron Lyrae and left the Eyri there to take a quick tour to the Sol-System. Like tourists they'd awed the exessivly large orbital structures and explored every sector the ATF allowed them to see.
After returning to the Eiry, they'd continued the journey east without any events worth mentioning.
However, even though nothing had happened at all, Jeremy had found a way to spend his time usefull.
Especially by learning about his crew and their relationships, most importantly how Ganatos seemed to look at Evy as a rival, because Yantis obviously enjoyed to talk with somebody as indulged into Code and Computers as he was.
For the time being, she vented her frustration sparring with Frank, who was ever willing to get punched in the face and learning new combat moves.
On the other side May and Erine, the latter overly protective about the girl and both sometimes rather secretive. Often, Jeremy heard their wispers, but never felt the need to care about what they were talking.
Cora was a wildcard in any way. She was laughing and arguing with everyone, just as she pleased. Surprisingly, nobody held a grudge against her for more then an hour or two.
Jeremy found himself a little bit left out, but he was aware this kind of interpretation was prone to superstition. They knew each other for years, so it was only natural he needed time to take his spot in the group. And Erine aside, who was strangely negative towards the captain, all of them acted normal and friendly around him.
"Jeremy." Something in Evys Voice was unusual, almost upset. "What's...?" The whole ship was suddenly in tremor. "Evy, report." "Xenon closing in, one P and several fighters, they're attacking the local sector forces. Seems like we got hit by a stray missile." "Any damage taken?" The young man dressed in his pilot suit and left the cabin, heading straight for the bridge. "Negative. Shields holding at 95%."
Jeremy wasn't the first to enter the bridge, Frank was allready there and had taken the helm in order to steer clear of the battle zone. The whole crew agreed on this one point, it was far better to keep the Eiry out of fights, even if they decided to commit.
"Cora is allready preparing the Black Sun for launch." Frank commented, greeting his captain with a slight nod. "Fine." Jeremy made his way to the table displaying current gravidar readings. "She may have her fun. As long as she comes back alive in a ship." Both men grinned. "Doesn't look like there are other chips around, but I've quite a bad feeling we're missing out on the real action."
"I detect weapons fire near the eastern gate, but they're out of range or the main sensors." The AS showed on of the pictures send by the external cameras. Zooming in, the exchange of HEPT-fire was clearly visible against the darkness of space.
"Prepare the Talon, I want to see whats going on there." "Affirmative."
Cora took the Eclipse to the battle with the P, primarily for fun, but also to protect the Eiry if necessary, while the Amber Talon turned towards the eastern gate at full speed.
Jeremys feeling turned out to be quite right. A military M7 owned by Jonferco was exchanging blows with a Q, two P and their fighter escorts, itself supported by four wings of border patrol fighters.
Without second thought, Jeremy opened fire on a pair of Ns, turning the first into a fireball on the first go and stripping the second ships shields, before it got out of his firing arc.
Jeremy lowered the throttle, turned and sped up again in order to catch up with the faster ship. A series of shots missed the small ship just barely, sparing its life for a couple of seconds more, until Jeremy again positioned his M4 and blew the scout to bits.
However, the Xenon had now become aware of his presence. An M accompanied by an LX broke formation and turned towards the Talon, releasing a deadly stream of particles.
The Talon rolled to the right, evading the PAC-Fire and retalliating with its own PACs, as well as a missile right into the Ms non-existing face, producing a non-existent M.
The LX however was a different story, but painfully slow compared to the Talon. Jeremy steered clear of its plasma volleys and behind hit, wittling away at its shields with everything the Talons arsenal allowed, missiles excluded, as he decided to use them on something more dangerous later on.
Keeping the talon behind the LX he disabled its shields and reduced its hull integrity well below fifty percent, before a lucky shot hit the ships mainframe and disbaled it completely.
"Do you think you could hack those, if I get a good shot at them with the 'Jack'?" He asked, turning the ship to the still ongoing battle between the Jonferco Cerberus and the Xenon, with the Q about to give in to the massive fire concentrated onto it.
"I don't think Jack is the right tool to fight Xenon. Even if I were to connect, I'd need all my computing power to overwhelm the ships AI and coulnd't provide you with any help. Not to mention the possibilty of being hacked myself." Evy replied sceptically. "But you could hack a Xenon ship?" "Given enough time." Jeremy glanced at the disabled LX and grinned. "I know what you're thinking, but I advise you to concentrate on the battle."
Indeed it turned out to be a good idea to do that, a heavily armed M appeared out of nowhere for a full salvo of PAC fire, shaking the ship like crazy and dropping its shields to 56%. Cursing the chips, Jeremy turned the Talon to intercept the attacker and returned fire. The M turned out to be somewhat smarter then his comrades and managed to evade most of the salvo, only losing a small bit of shielding. It's turns and maneuvering seemed completely without pattern, until it suddenly faced the Talon, rapidly accelerating with all guns blazing.
"F*CK!" Jeremy pulled the trigger, at the same time alterin the course barely enough to evade the Xenons suicidal tendencies. "Shields down to 17%. I suggest you try to evade such a situation next time." Snorting, Jeremy checked on the enemies status. It had taken way less damage then the Talon, its shields stripped to about half. Cursing the chips again, the ship suddenly disappeared. "What the hell?" "Enemy destroyed." "How?" "It seems to me it was caught in the blast that killed the Q and one of its escort Ps." Jeremys eyes widened, as he quickly accelerated away from the battle. "Hammerhead." "Affirmative." "Cora, this is Jeremy, get back to the Eiry. These Jonferco guys are using Hammerheads." "Ehr... kay."
Both fighters returned to the TM relativly unscathed. From a save distance they watched the battles end, setting out again to collect the salvage, first of all the LX, but also several small argon fighters, missiles and some ammo crates.
After everything was collected, the crew made sure no Xenon were coming from the other side and finally jumped into Teladi space, turning south and entering the Maelstrom less then a day later.
The sector had been taken by paranid forces, and the three eyed priests were less then pleased to see another pack of pirates. "Inbound hostiles. A Zeus and escorts. Whatever you want to do, I suggest you do it quickly."
Jeremy and the rest of the crew had assembled at the bridge. For a brief moment, everyone was silent, then of all people Mayenne was the one to break the silence. "They're slow." she said, earning her uncomprehending looks from everyone. "Not slow enough." Evy answered. "They'll be here in less then two minutes and the Eiry isn't fast enough to outrun them." "Nope, but the Talon is. If you get her trough the next gate..." "I'm ashamed I didn't think of that." May grinned. "Evy, prepare the Talon, I'm on my way." "Affirmative."
Jeremy left the bridge ignoring the protest of the others, led by Cora who weren't as content as May about the Talons ability to outrun the Nids, even if Jeremy was able to find the gate they were searching for on hin own.
Running towards the hangars, the young captain commanded Evy to engange the ships jumdrive, sending the Eiry back to Teladi space, as well as to keep the others from canceling the order.
Just as the first paranid fighter entered attack range, the Talon launched, followed by a bright flash consuming the Eiry. At full speed, Jeremy steered his ship away from the gate, as Mayenne said fast enough to outrun his enemies, with just a few shots hitting the shiels.
"Now, how do we find this gate?" He asked, keeping an eye on the ships following him. "We follow the trail." Evy highlighted what seemed to be a small ship traveling towards them from the south-west. "Sounds like a plan. I just hope the next sector isn't in the hands of the empire allready. "I guess we'll find out soon."
It wasn't. Without name and owner, wild and untamed space was the only thing to be found behind the gate. Untamed space and a lone trader traversing the former from the west to the east.
As Jeremy passed him, he was greated with a warning of heavy pirate activity in around the west gate. Thanking the man, the young Argon continued his journey, until finally the gate came in sight and both he and Evy considered themselves safe enough to call in the Eyri.
Looking back, Jeremy thought it had been a bad idea. But that wasn't until they had crossed the gate into Gaian Star. All of them, happy to finally reach their destination had their dreams crushed by the sight of three brigantines with escorts. As Cora recognised the decorative patters, her face went white, as if any color had just vanished. "Evy! Don't greet them using the..." It was to late, the AS had allready hailed the three ships on the Blue Fires greeting frequencies, not knowning two of the ships belonged to the Black Panther pirates, a clan known for its hatred toward the "Princess of Pirate Alley" and her mates, while the third was neutral to the Blue Fire, and friendly towards the Panthers.
The ships opened fire without warning, hesitation or mercy. Evy immediately enganged the jumpdrive to get the ship to safety, but under the pressure of two capital ships, the 400 megajoule shields melted away like ice entering a suns corona.
Stunned by the terrible beauty of photon fire breaking through and engulfing the Eiry, the last things Jeremy noticed were Coras green eyes asking him to save her life and the screen were Evy used to reside, dark.
As the TM exploded, a shadow sprung towards the gate, leaving the system. The picture of the young argon women vanished, replaced by an endless stream of binary code. Evy was alone. Again. The ships jumpdrive engaged and a bright flash consumed it. Destination unknown.