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Infinte Opportunity [DiD] TC 3.2
Posted: Mon, 13. Aug 12, 14:20
I'm back to writing, well back to writing for X3, and as of that, I decided to start a new series. I'll use a modified version of X3TC 3.2. If you're interested in the mods I use, ask and I'll answer you, just to lazy to post them right now.
The story will evolve as I play (as all of them have done before) featuring a series of characters from my previous DiDs (one in particular, as you will see soon), and possibly gueststarring some other writers heros directly or indirectly if I get permission for that.
Each chapter will get it's own post and will be linked in this first one to allow you to keep track of everything, however, a single chapter may contain multiple updates and is usually finished right before the next chapter is introduced.
The start is Nostalgic Argon.
Mods and Scripts:
XTra Ship and Station Mod by Cadius
Xtra Jobs 3.3a by vkerinav
Advanced Weapon Research Mod by Roger L.S. Griffiths
Enhanced Equipment Spawner 2.6 by Roger L.S. Griffiths and LitCube
Board Station by uberex
Bribe a Pilot by Nividium
Ship Hijacker by Nividium
Improved Boarding by Cycrow
Salvage Claim Software by Cycrow
Improved Races 2.0 by Jack08 und DJRygar
NPC Bailing Addon by ThisIsHarsh
Salvage Commands and NPCs by ThisIsHarsh
Stock Exchange by mark_a_condren
The Marauder Shipyard by Teladidrone
Release Passengers 1.0 by X2-Illuminatus
- DiD (excluding inevitable gatecrashes and the likes, however including autopillock induced death, as I'm at fault if I used it in the first place)
- only save at stations
- no RL-use on Capital Ships
- M6, M7, TL, M2 and M1 have to be boarded with Marines
- upgrade the Rusty Shell or get a better Ship [completed]
- accquire a TM [completed]
- access Gaian Star
Chapter I: Without Direction
Chapter II: Be My Friend
Chapter III: Upgrade
Chapter IV: Path to the Future
Chapter V: Preparations
Chapter VI: Rumble
Chapter VII: 'Nid Picking
Chapter VIII: Face the Facts
Chapter IX: Crewed
Chapter X: Running the Gauntlet
Posted: Mon, 13. Aug 12, 14:25
Jeremy Talon leaned back into the cockpit seat, tapping his finger on the armrest. There he was, free from his depts and inside his own ship, more then he could've hoped for just days ago. Still, he was far from being a being made man, without direction and with just a thousand credits left bound to make money before his meager savings would run out.
He gazed at the blue oceans and green continents of Argon Prime below him. Life at the surface was hard and hectic. The ever overcrowded streets had made him choke again and again, even remembering it narrowed his airways. However, being out here in space, all alone and forced to find a new way of life was frigthening at its own.
Maybe he should've just sold the buster like everything else, the money would've been enough to support his lifestyle for the rest of his time. Then again he was here, out in space, free from the bonds of planetary life and slowly his thirst for adventure started to grow.
Ofcourse, even pushing the throttle lever and accelerate was an adventure right now, but Jeremy had a slight idea this wouldn't be the end of all things.
Jeremy closed his eyes and recalled what he had seen about life in space in movies. They usually tackled on piracy and glorious battles, a bit to much to take into consideration just know. Second he remembered a film about Scrappers, spacers who either legaly or illegaly collected space junk and wreckage to sell it to the highest bidder.
The young man swayed his head indulging into the romantic image of a hard working man who made a living on finding or buying beaten up ships and repairing them for sale.
Than he opened his eyes, now knowing wich way he wanted to go and how to put his skills as a mechanic to best use. However he realised Argon Prime wouldn't be the best sector to live this kind of life, instead, he would have to set out for the notorious pirate alley, or any other system where fights where common, as well as getting a ship catering to his new life style, preferably with strong shields and the capacity to load other ships, in other words a military transport.
Pushing the throttle to accellerate the oh so apptly named "Rusty Shell" wasn't a big deal, yet to Jermey it meant propelling himself into the new life he had chosen to take on.
Carefully he steered his Buster towards the South Gate, heading for home of light, wich he knew to be considered an economically thriving sector and probably a good start to provide him with opportunities.
Entering Home of Light, the sector presented it self peaceful and kind of quite, with just a few ships crossing the busters sensor range. Jeremy gazed at the sectors planet with awe, seeing another from space for the first time of his life.
Sadly, what he perceived to be local trade opportunities where well beyond what his meager funds could afford, so he made his way into ore belt, as far as he knew a safe but less civilized system allways in dire need for pilots.
Another Jump later, the dusty asteroid belt again inspired the pilots awe. Asking a bypassing taxi for a direction, he found his way to the powerplant and docked in order to purchase some energy cells to sell to other facilities within the sector - a practise he'd heard about being a pretty standard and safe way to make money before descending to deep into the whole trading thing.
The Cells where offered at 17 Credits each, but being told there was a shortage on a nearby factory, Talon found himself agreeing to the deal, spending almost all of his small fortune to fill his even smaller cargo hold. In good spirits he took off to the facility the vendor had mentioned bound to be ripped from his dreams of wealth by the bare claws of reality.
The supposed "shortage" was inexistent. To make any kind of profit Jeremy had to beg the buyer, telling him of his misery and probably lying about a dept, until the man finally gave in to buy his cells for a credit more then he had paid himself.
58 Credits. The first Jeremy had earned as a free trader, more importantly making him realise the people in space were mostly the same as on the surface, greedy liers who would help noone without gaining something for themselves.
"Hey, boy!" Jermey looked up, from the credits to the buyer. The man was about sixty years old, bold and showed a feint, somewhat ironic smile. "Don't let it get to your head, ey? Won't be the last time you get scammed. But that's how it works around here. Keep your eyes and ears open, learn the prices, trust your instincts and never ever believe someone who wants to sell you something." He smiled, now generously.
Jeremy nodded. "Thanks, Sir." he answered, walking away with his fist closed. These 58 Credits would be the start.
And they were. Returning to the power plant, its prices and plumeted. Now the guy that had scammed him last time was begging the few traders docked to buy the stations cells in order to avoid stopping production. Jeremy refrained from the cruel laughter he wanted to release on the other, but instead offerend to by some cells for the minimal prize of 12 Credits.
The other, recognizing him grinded his teeth, but nevertheless had to comply.
Loaded with cheap energy, Jeremy took a bit of time to study the local stations supply reports. One of them, a relativly nearby mine proved to be low stocked and within just a few minutes of time, Jeremy sold his cargo for a 33% profit at 18 credits per cell. Also learning that the mine had some kind of dispute with their usual suppliers, indicating a reliable source of income to be exploited while it lasted.
In just a few runs, Jeremy was able to nearly quintuple his funds, until the established traders reacted to the nice filled power plant and practically emptied it from one moment to the other.
With a bit of envy towards the owners of those mercuries, Jeremy decided to stay docked until the price would fall again, using the time to learn more about the sectors economy.
It turned out to be fairly easy. There was one solar powerplant providing energy to a couple of mining complexes as well as a pair of sidearms factories and a flakforge, wich turned the ore into more military applicable things. The mines either produced for the factories or had their ore sold directly to Plutarch, whos HQ dominated the whole belt.
Also there basically existed to kinds of supply lines: Small traders like himself with little freight capacity but relativly mobile ships and the ability to take any opportunity, and secondly the freighter pilots, who hauled large amounts of goods around and provided enough ressources for a factory to feed of quite a long time.
As a bee - how Jermey came to name the small traders - you had to do, what you where meant to do, react and quickly adapt, anticipating profit, even in small margins, outrunning the birds - freighters - and kind of pioneer their opportunities, setting out for new targets once they appeared.
Adhering to this insight, he bought some cells as soon as the plant started offering them for below average and a undersupplied target was to be found.
Posted: Mon, 13. Aug 12, 14:43
Be my friend
After the first day, Jeremy Talon had aquired a total profit of over 500% of his former account, wich now counted slightly over sixthousand Credits. As the standard day neared its end, the young men was pretty content, as well as glad to get a bit of sleep on the makeshift bed inside the small cabin of the Buster.
As he woke up, he noticed an unusual lack of light around him. The only light he saw, came from outside the ship, probably provided by the hangarlights.
Getting up, Jeremy glanced at the main monitor. It was as dark as the rest of the ship. With a slight gnarl the men slid into the pilotseat and routinly pushed the buttons wich in theory should have restarted the ships computer system. Nothing. Furious, he slammed his fist at the controlpanel. Still nothing. "Dammit!"
Leaving the pilot seat, the young men got on his knees and opened the coverpanel to take a direct look at the navcomputer. Promptly, the intense smell of charred rubber rose. "Shit." Jeremy lifted himself back up. The computer was obviously well beyond its time, with any thought about repairing it a waste of time.
The young pilot opened the hatch to the cargohold manually in order to get out of the ship and into the hangar, where a couple of other traders had docked.
Jeremy greeted one of them with a gesture as he closed the distance. "Good Morning Sir. It seems I need a new mainframe. You wouldn't know where to find one?" The man glanced at Jeremy, obviously trying to fix some issue with his thruster. "Hardly a good mornin' kid." he answered and fizzled onto the flor. "Maybe I know where to find one. But I've got my own problems here." Jeremy eyeballed the ship, as well as the thruster the man was working on. "A dislocated injector, eh?" he asked. The mans eyebrow rose. "Where do you get that idea?" Jeremy smiled. "Have been working as a ship mechanic earlier." He took another few steps towards the man, who began to grin. "Tell you what, if you fix this shit, I'll give you your mainframe." he said.
Jeremy glanced at the other one sceptically. "Show it to me first, and it's a deal."
Two hours later, the other trader - he had refered to himself as Ed only - left the hangar bay with a repaired ship and Jeremy started to integrate the new mainframe with his ships systems, after he'd extracted the older one.
Finally, everything was as its place, and jeremy again initiated the start up sequence for the ships computers, leaning back into the pilot seat, wearied by his work.
"Hi." Jeremy jumped up, hitting his head against the cockpitwindow, then immediatly falling back into the seat. Disturbed, his eyes met the computer screen. A boron stared back, giggling all the while. "What the?!" "I said: Hi." she broke in on him. "Hi?" he replied, still perplexed. "I think I said that, yes." The boron looked at him with what seemed to be a feint grin. "What do you want from me?" Jeremy asked, trying to get a hold on himself. "Asking your ships computer such a questions is kind of ironic, don't you think?" she replied - on a side note, the assumption that she was indeed a she was purely based upon her computergenerated voice - and cocked her head slightly. Jeremy shook his head. "You're the computer?" The boron now clearly grinned. "Captain Obvious. May I ask for your name?" "Jeremy... Jeremy Talon... and yours?"
The boron cocked her head again, now a bit more. "I'm Evy." she answered. "I guess this image is a bit disturbing, I will take on a more appropriate appearance in a second." The screen went dark, then a human female somewhere in her early twens appeared. She had green eyes, red hair and a quite appealing smile. "I guess this is better." She said smiling.
Jeremy nodded, allthough it wasn't any less disturbing then before, at least the human image allowed him to connect to the AI a lot easier. "Hi." he finally answered, staring at the screen. "I'm kind of beyond this point now, you know? Judging from the logs I recovered your new to the whole spacething, huh?" Jeremy just nodded, still confused about his new "computer". "Any Questions?" Evy asked with a grin.
"Actually a lot." Jeremy answered, finally regaining his composture. "I will need some time to adapt to this ships system, but answering your questions while I'm doing it, it shouldn't be to much of a problem."
For a couple of seconds, maybe a minute, both remained silent, staring at each other. "So?" Evy finally broke the silence. Jermey took a deep breath. "What are you?" he asked. "I'm an artificial sentience, programmed to help in theoretical reasearch of thirtysix dimensional... Well, research. But I have to say I'm pretty decent in operating ships to." Jeremys Eyebrow rose. "You mean you're and advanced AI?" Evys image showed a grin. "Thats a very simple way to put it. But basically yes." she answered. "Where do you come from?" Jeremy dug further. "My oldest logfiles detail my first activation to have been at the boron homeworld." Jeremy nodded, concluding: "So you served a boron, that's why you had their appearance." Again Evy grinned. "Got ourselves a smart one here, haven't we?" "Who made you?" Jeremy asked, ignoring her irony. "I don't want to talk about that." "I order you to."
Suddenly Evys Face shiftet to an expression of wild anger. "I DON'T TAKE ORDERS FROM YOU!" she shouted, turning the speakers to maximum volume. Jeremy felt like being punched in the face. "S-Sorry..." he replied, obviously intimidated by such an outburst. "Maybe you should get one thing straight: I am not a servant. I will help you, if you ask nicely, but if you try to control me, you'll find yourself ejected at the worst possible moment." Jeremy shivered. "Yes Ma'am." Evy smiled again. "Fine. I've connected to all systems, we may now move out at your whim."
Posted: Tue, 14. Aug 12, 00:14
Nice one with the main character interacting with the ship AI. I actually tried that myself once, but got wasted before I could post anything.
A comment, though; The colors are a tiny bit annoying, and the dark blue one is very hard to read. Otherwise this is looking very promising.
Posted: Tue, 14. Aug 12, 00:34
Agreed. Green is tolerable, thought it'd be easier to read in bold. The purple looks horrible, and I've tried the default and the blue skin. The dark blue is just... frustrating. Remember that lighter shades are much easier on the eyes, which is why white text on black background is the forum default. Use a light red, or the violet default to make it easy to read. Or Cyan for a nice blue text. I get that you're differentiating between species that way, but it's going to make it hard to read.
Good story so far though.
Posted: Tue, 14. Aug 12, 09:24
It seems my monitor is somewhat brighter, nevertheless I changed out the colors to bighter tones and hope its nicer to your eyes. If not I may end up removing them all together, though I prefer them to give the speaking characters a "visual voice" so the reader allways knows who's the one saying something.
More importantly: I'm glad you like it. Should you find any grave grammatical errors or unfinished sentences please let me know.
Posted: Tue, 14. Aug 12, 13:28
Infinitely better. Now, more please!
Posted: Tue, 14. Aug 12, 22:31
"This isn't a ship." Evy complained. "Its a a barrel in space." Jeremy sighed. "Stop whining. I know it's not the best in the galaxy, but still decent for a start." he defended his ship, secretly thinking quite the same as his new companion. "Whining? I can't even see as far as you. How am I supposed to work under such conditions?" Jeremy grinded his teeth. She was right, the ships scanner range was laughable, especcially if he planned on scavenging. Also, the cargo hold and engines needed not only upgrades, but an outright overhaul.
"Fine, we'll do this trade run and then turn back to Argon Prime for some upgrades." he gave in and steered the ship towards the docking bay.
With now about seven thousand credits on his account he was pretty content to be able to afford new scanners and maybe some additional improvements to the ship.
With the cargo sold the ship and its two dissimilar operators move through home of light to argon primes equipment dock, where Evy had located a supply of duplex scanners. Painfully expensive as Jeremy thought, buying one of over half of his credits. This and a tiny bit of more space in the cargo hold amounted to easily 5500 Credits, even a bit more. For nothing. Again Jeremy realised the hardships of life in space. What would have been much money on the surface was merely enough out here to supply a ship as small as his own. To really make his dreams come true, he had to think bigger.
On the way home, Jeremy quitely watched Evy, as she thoroughly enjoyed her regained sight needlessly scanning anything and everything in sight, save for military and police ships thankfully.
Suddenly there was a double bleep, prompting Jermey to raise his head. "Do you see what I see? Evy asked. Jeremy focused his attention a bit more. Evy had marked an astronaut far away from the next station, heading towards it. "An astronaut?" He asked, kind of confused. "Still Captain obvoius. What I see is an emergency bail, wich in turn means there's a ship somewhere around he has left. Or at least wreckage. You told me you wanted to become a scrapper, didn't you?" Jeremys face lit up. "Ofcourse. But how do we find it?" Evy showed a grin on her screen. "I have retraced the astronauts course. It should be somewhere in this direction." Jeremy steered the ship onto the course mentioned and just a few minutes later, Evy marked what turned out to be and abandoned, harshly damage buster.
Reducing the ships speed to zero close to the other ship, Jeremy eyeballed it. Though beaten up, it seemed to be intact to the point of usable. "Now, how do we get our hands on it exactly?" he asked. Evy sighed. "I will provide you with an algorythm to hack it. You'll eject, spacewalk to it, get access to one of its diagnosis ports and plug yourself in. I will connect via your spacesuit," Jeremy looked at her screen for a couple of seconds, finally giving her a nod and preparing his pilotsuit for a space walk.
The suits thrusters made it pretty easy to get near to the damaged ship. Once he got a hold of the battered hull, Jeremy disengaged the small jets and tried to find one of the ports evy mentioned.
It appeared the ships plating had been modified, even though inconsistently, makeshift. He pulled one of the added hullplates away to reach a small removable part of the hull plating, under wich the needed controlpanel was hidden. Once he had connected his suit to the ships systems, Evy took control of the abandoned vessel in little more then a minute and Jeremy made his way back to the safety of his own fighter.
"What did we get?" He asked, with a quick glance at the ships data quickly being processed by the AI. "Its shield generator is still fuctional, some minor systems are damaged beyond repair, but the framing is undamaged. With a bit effort, it'll may sell as a makeshift escape pod." Jermey grinned. "You're so positive." he teased his companion. Evy reappeared on the main screen. "I'm reasonable. We should sell this as soon as possible. But until you repaired it at least a bit, I think it's put to best use a cargo bay extension." Jeremy answered with a slight nod. "Back to Ore Belt then, I'll have time enough to repair it if we have to wait again."
Returning to Ore Belt, the Rusty Shell returned to do traderuns between the solar powerplant and the local facilities whenever a profit was in sight. As decided, Jeremy used the remaining time to fix up the scavenged buster and transfer the ships 5MJ Shield Generator on bord of the Shell, to make sure the shields would be where they were needed most.
Evy took it upon her, to watch the prices and the local facilities supply to determine when a profit could be made.
However, the work was hard and they advanced only slowly. Soon, both grew discontent with their source of income, but stayed silent, until the "found" buster was finally restored to a sellable self.
"I'm done." Jermey said, falling into the seat behind him. "Finally." Evy smiled from her screen. "Fine. Let's sell this peace of junk and get out of here. I'm tired of watching E-Cell prices and you didn't want to be some lame ass trader. We've got better shields and this can should pay for some tweaks to the engines. That's enough to advance, don't you think?"
He did. Even the most worthless junk they'd find would sell for more than running e-cells with a Buster. So the Shells way led it back to Argon Prime once more, to sell the second buster on the local market for used ships.
Again, Evy proved to be a great help, as she searched through thousands of want ads to find a fitting customer wich would sell their ship, consequently crossreferencing their identities with all databases open to her. Finally a single Name appeared. Nalen Reloc.
"You should sell your ship to this one. He won't ask any meaningful questions and has enough money to pay a price we'll like." she explained. Jeremy looked at the name and the picture sceptically. "So we basically scam him, knowing that he'll be to stupid to see through our scheme?" He asked reluctantly. "I'd call it 'customer-based-offering' but yes, you get the idea." Jeremys face took on an even more sceptical look. "One could get the impression you're a pirate." he said. "If you want a more challenging target with less money, I'll find one." Evy answered. Jeremy replied with a shrug. "No. Its fine. Any more tips?" "Start at 250.000."
Two hundred and thirty thousand credits. Jeremys Account had just risen to hights never seen before, and somehow he knew they'd rise even higher given enough time. Without Evys help, he probably would have gotten a lot less, but the client she had chosen willingly believed everything the former mechanic told him. The bargain had been a mere ritual.
Returning to his ship, Jeremys few fell upon on of the broadcasting screens.
"This is Karin Hayes for X-News-Net. Independent reports indicate a joint operation of all commonwealth races to finally deal with the criminal infestation along the notorious pirate ally. Our sources report fleets being deployed to Farnham's Legend, Split Fire, and Hatikvah's Faith to contest pirate dominion over thes sectors. Official statements have yet to be released."
War on pirate alley. The Argon shook his head slightly. Finally someone took care of a problem that had been... >Wait..< War meant casualties, casualties meant derelict ships and derelicts meant... profit.
The young man accelerated his pace to the point where he was running for the hangar bay. Reaching it, he literally jumped into the Ship and onto the pilot seat. "We're going for pirate alley!" he declared, allready resting his right hand on the thruster lever. "I'm confused about your sudden change of thoughts." the AI replied. "There's war on pirate alley." The young man replied. "Get us cleared for take off." The image on the screen raised an eyebrow. "You realise this ship isn't ready for the alley yet, not even speaking of war..." "We'll get it upgraded at the EQ and head out afterwards, period." Jeremy declared. "I'm not so sure about that. We got clearance though." The ship accelerated into the darkness of space once again.
Within hours most of their new fortune was spend on upgrading the Rusty Shells engines, rudders and cargo capacity, also adding a trade extension to its computers to allow Evy access on even more intel then before.
On the way to Farnhams Legend they stopped only at Elena's fortune, to buy a triplex scanner at the local military outpost. How she had managed to get docking clearance for it, remained Evys secret and her only answer to Jeremys Questions was a slight smile.
Enterin Farnham's Legend, a debris field greeted them, hinting on the battle that had been fought and lost by its pirate defenders. "That's a lot of rubble to go through." Jeremy asserted. Evy was allready busy scanning the debris for anything she considered usefull, marking several objects near the sectors center. Half a dozen missiles wich hadn't been fired, before its carriers blew up.
"By the queen. Do you see that?" Evy centered the gravidar scan on the main screen. A wild crapload of contacts aside, Jeremy really didn't see anything. "See what?" he asked, staring at the screen. "These likens. That's a boron design for sure and it seems to be intact." Still, jeremy wasnt able to see anything. "As good as anything. Plot a course, we'll take a look."
The "Rusty Shell" dove into the debris field. Following the course Evy calculated, Jeremy stared the small ship carefully towards the abandaoned husk, wich turned out to be a Barracuda on the brink of desturction. Black scorchmarks covered most of what once had been the shining green hull. Two shots had penetrated the cockpit window and killed the pilot.
"What a mess." "You wanted to be a scrapper, so don't complain. It'll still fly and the framing is intact. Some papier mâché and it'll be good enough to sell second hand."
Finding the right way to access a boron ship was a bit more difficult than accessing a buster, still, Jeremy managed to allow Evy to hack the ship and autopilot it out of the debris field towards the trading station the boron had just set up.
As they searched the rubble, they also found an Elite, a paranid hermes, both in quite good shape and lastly the probably most valuable part of salvage in the whole debris field.
"That's a ... what are they called?" "Solano. It's weapons are destroyed, seems like the pilot bailed." Jeremy looked at the sensor readings. "It's shields are up. Guess the old trick won't work this time." He sighed, but Evy was less concerned. "Shields are not designed to repell anything slow enough to not damage the hull upon impact. As long as you don't try to punch it, you should be fine." she advised.
Jeremy ejected and propelled his suit towards the Solano, slowly reaching out for the ship. His hand passed the shield, allowing him to touch the surface below. Judging from how little the ship was damaged overall, the one who'd disabled its weapons had an exceptional aim. Bad for the pilot, good for him. A Solano... if Evy was good enough to forge the papers, they'd have a ship much more suited to their task then the "Rusty Shell". "Are you sure you're able to crack this sweety?" he asked through intercom. Evy replied with a slight snarl. "I'd crack even an M2 if I have to. Just get me connected."
Posted: Tue, 14. Aug 12, 23:31
Awesome start, I love the idea of the ship treating jeremy as a Padawan.
Posted: Tue, 14. Aug 12, 23:41
I'm glad you like it. And if you like Evy, I'd recommend a look at my second DiD.
Posted: Wed, 15. Aug 12, 10:49
Very nice. I like. Keep up the good work.
Posted: Wed, 15. Aug 12, 16:22
Path to the future
They there made man now. Or rather a made man and a made articial sentience. Leaning back into the Solanos new pilot seat, Jeremy took a deep breath, recapping the events of the last two weeks.
After salvaging the Solano and the other ships, they had rented a private hangar on the local trading station. Working hard and without unnecessary breaks, Jeremy patched the hulls of the found ships together and recovered whatever usefull was left inside of the husks to either sell it seperately or turn it into something usefull in another way.
Finally even the shell was stripped in order to transfer its systems to the Solano. At last, only Evy remained on the ship, while Jeremy prepared a special compartment to hold the computer running her aboard the new ship.
To this day, doubling as the busters mainframe had limited her capacity and while she had never complained about it, she'd specifically asked to get a more fitting place in the new ship.
Now all of the scavenged ships, the buster, as well as another Pirate Nova and a Barracuda picked up after a battle in Elenas Fortune were sold, leaving Jeremy Talon with an account of over 4.4 Million Credits to spend, as Evy awoke in her new "body".
The still unnamed Solano was now fitted with two advanced PACs, two enhanced and two normal IREs, three 25 Mega Joule shield generators, extensive tunings to engines, steering jets and cargo bay, futhermore with a triplex scanner array (and a secondary duplex scanner as back up), freight and bioscanners, a boost extension, a trading computer and last but not least a transporter device.
"Connecting to ship systems." Evys voice rose from the speakers. The main screen flickered a few times, than her human representation appeared on the screen. "Welcome back." Jeremy smiled, and Evy returned it."Technically I was never away, but thanks anyways. Looks like you did quite a good job on this one. And finally being rid of running everything... I feel like a new person." Obviously overjoyed, the AS seemingly began to explored the ships capabilites. Suddenly the engines came to life with an impressive roar and energy was distributed to the weapons. "Easy Evy, we're still in the hangar bay." Jeremy reminded her, just as the hangar gates opened and the pilot was pressed into the seat by sudden acceleration. "EVY!" He screemed, completely terryfied by the sudden burst to over two hundred meters per second. "Don't worry, I'm just playing around a bit. Relax and enjoy the ride."
Jeremy had nothing to enjoy. Sudden turns, quick stop and rapid acceleration turned his stomach upside down and back multiple times until he just lost it, bowed forward and puke onto his shoes. All the while Evy locked onto a roid and approached - weapons blazin' - at full speed.
Jeremy rose his head, only to see the roids surface getting close and closer at an alarming speed. He crossed his arms to protect his face, screeming. "EVY! STOP IT!" In the last moment, the ship darted sideways and then came to a stop.
"You're no fun." the As commented dry as a desert world, watching Jeremy, who again puked over his shoes. "I heard you saying you'd feel like a pirate now, but thats just a welp yapping. You're nothing like a pirate, just a lucky scavenger. A vulture calling himself an eagle. Pathetic." she picked on him, unusually harsh, but Jeremy was in no position to fight back. Evy steered the ship back to the hangar, now at usual speed and docked the ship.
Later, Jeremy lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling. The ship was dark, save for a few control lights. "Hey, Evy?" he asked quietly. The main monitor came to live, showing Evys Avatar. "What is it?" she replied with a neutral voice. "I'm sorry. I don't know why you reacted like this, but you're right, I'm no pirate by any means." The young man sounded quite depressed. Evy showed a caring smile. "It's me who should be sorry. I just snapped." she replied, causing Jeremy to smile slightly. "Without you I'd probably be dead by now, or still run e-cells around. Still..." "Yes?" "I came to wonder, where do you know all this from? First I thought you'd probably just know or siphon the extra net, but I get the impression there's more to it."
Evy kept silent for a while, then she sighed. "Let's just say it's not my first take on this kind of business." she answered. "What happened?" "I don't want to talk about it." Jeremy raised his head, as to see Evy's avatar a bit better. Her voice told him of the sadness she tried to hide, but he decided not to ask further. Instead he stuck to the topic. "Do you think I could be a pirate?" Again silence, as if Evy had to search for words. "Anyone can be. As long as you have the right attitude. But right now, I don't think so. You lack determination."
Jeremy sighed. "You're probably right." he answered. Evy smiled oddly. "You should've contested that claim Jerry." she said. Jeremys eyebrow rose. "I should have? Why?" Evy grinned. " Because pirates don't take a no." Jeremy laughed briefly. "I promise to remember it."
The next day. the pair again searched Elenas Fortune for ships to scavenge. Even though competition was high, and Jeremy lost several pieces of salvage to other scavengers, he managed to get his hands on a couple of other pirate ships, fleeing the split onslought in Split Fire only to be picked up by the Argon Border Patrols.
Among the booty were another Nova, a Perseus and a Barracuda, lastly a Demeter Hauler. Among the haulers freight of agnu beef, the ships also contained several intact weapons, among them an enhanced PAC and a Phased Repeater Gun, both of wich the pilot immediately transfered to and installed at the Solano, wich was given the Name of "Amber Talon". The same applied to a docking computer and a cargo life support system found on the Demeter.
"Keep the Demeter." Evy advised, as Jeremy was about to send the ships to Argon Prime for sale. "Hm?" "If we expand our operations, it's good to have a mobile storage for weapons and any other usefull thing we want to hold onto, without cramping the bit of space we have in here." she explained. Jeremy nodded. "Clever. But it needs a name, if we keep it." He leaned back, thinking. "What about the "Granite Rack"?" Evy joked, realising her mistake as soon as a smile appeared on Jeremys face. "Sounds good." he said, renaming the ship in an instant. "You... well... forget it."
For some time, the two idled in Elenas Fortune to wait for loot, but it seemed the pirates had given up fleeing the split into argon territory and the fights in farnhams legend had died down to. Unsure about the next steps, Jeremy turned to his As for advice. And of course, Evy had an idea. "Maybe there's a way we'll make a profit and some argon friends." she said. "Fly towards Cloud Base South West, it's time you start to practice."
Jeremy did as he was told, picking up a Discoverer on the way and claiming a Vulture right after entering Cloud Base SW. "You said you wanted to show me something." He said just moments after reentering the Cockpit. "Affirmative. Do you see those paranid Freighters? she asked, meanwhile marking them on the gravidar. "Certainly. Why?" "Because you will make them give up their ships for us to claim." Jeremys eyes widened. "Attacking them is illegal, and right under the Federations nose? Are you nuts?"
Evy sighed. "You asked me if you could be a pirate. I said no. time to prove me wrong. Trust me, nobody will intervene or even punish you. The paranids are the federations enemy. Shooting them will actually raise your recognition among the important people." Jeremy stared at the screen for some seconds. Right now he was a scavenger, maybe a thief, depending on the perspective. Piracy was a whole different thing. Slowly, he nodded. "Okay, well. So what do you want me to do exactly?"
"Don't worry, I'll guide you. First we get into range for the freight scanner. I'll take a look at their cargo, to make sure they've nothing to do serious damage to us, afterwards you'll take your aim and go after them. Concentrate your fire at one ship at a time and try no to get behind them."
Jeremy nodded, steering the ship towards the nearest of the marked ships, a Mercury Superfreighter. Approaching from behind, he allowed Evy to scan the ship and turned, while she analyzed the data. "No drones, just a PAC in the turret." she summarized. Jeremy was allready on his way back to the target, activating all weapons at once. As it got in range, the vulture was greeted with all guns blazing. Its shields dropped below 20 percent, as Jeremy turned righ into a circle, allowing him to attack from the front again. The paranid raged, but Jeremy was to busy to listen. The second attack blew the enemies shields away and ate a good portion of the hull, while the paranid realised it wasn't a mistake, calling the other paranids nearby for aid and activating his weapons.
The advanced PACs strained the energy supplies of the ship quite a bit, making the process of wittling down the hull a bit tedious, especially as Jeremy really wasn't a crackshot and every missed shot was a chunk of damage not delivered. At the fourth go, the paranid finally bailed his ship. "Fine. No to the other three. First at the one most distant from the two others."
Jeremy forwent the two freighters wich were about to reach the now abandoned one and beelined for the third, about six kilometres away from the others. Again the ship was scanned, revealing the same weaponry as on the first. Cracking the shields as a bit harder, though, as the ship had problems providing enough energy for the particle accelerators, but Evy observed a positve side effect, as Jeremy adapted to the circumstances and started using the steering jets to continously circle the Vultures roll axis, maximizing the time he had to bring his guns to bearing without ever getting into the range of the enemy PAC.
Suddenly the shields took a hefty hit. "Shields down to 86%. Enemies closing in." Jeremy clenched his teeth, accelerating again to get some distance between the Amber Talon and its adversaries. The Vulture was at about 60% hull, but the pilot seemed to be content to defeat the inferior being. "Aim for the cockpit." Evy advised. "If we can't get him to leave the ship, just kill him before it's destroyed."
Jeremy nodded, aimed and pulled the trigger, sending a large volley of accelerated particles directly at the vultures bridge. As intended, the broke the regenerated shield, penetrated the cockpit window and turned the paranid captain into holy charcoal.
Jeremy turned to the 2nd mercury, avoiding the enemies PACs whenever possible and holding his shields well over 70%. Within a few minutes, both freighter pilots bailed, prefering a space walk over timely unification with their god.
Realising he had held his breath for quite some time, Jeremy exhaled and took a deep breath. "Not bad." A slight smile leveld his face. "Thanks. This was... intense." He shivered, suddenly he started sweating like mad and the feeling of accomplisment was overshadowed by a deep fatigue. "Let's claim the booty and get you some rest."
Posted: Wed, 15. Aug 12, 21:13
Chapter now finished.
Posted: Wed, 15. Aug 12, 22:54
Good chapter. I'll definitely be watching this one
Posted: Thu, 16. Aug 12, 05:53
this is a good read... the computer does unfortunately remind me of my ex-wife tho
also id like to request a list of what mods are being used.... if its not too much to ask.... i know your using the bailing add on one, but which gives you the different weapon types? (enhanced?)