[DiD] Peacemaker - the tale of a fallen [Chapter 08 out]

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What to do, after the savegame has been destroyed?

Recreate the original game status.
2
20%
Start a new game. Dead is Dead after all.
7
70%
Retire. Better for all of us.
1
10%
 
Total votes: 10

RyuKazuha
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue, 22. Aug 06, 10:38
x3tc

[DiD] Peacemaker - the tale of a fallen [Chapter 08 out]

Post by RyuKazuha » Wed, 9. Jun 10, 00:14

"War is not a pathology that, with proper hygiene and treatment, can be wholly prevented.
War is a natural condition of the State, which was organized in order to be an effective instrument of violence on behalf of society.
Wars are like deaths, which, while they can be postponed, will come when they will come and cannot be finally avoided."


When i was young, my father told me stories about R'Gunne and the true history. A history wich was buried by our ancestors never to be revived. A history kept from its rightful heirs against the words of R'Gunne.

"You ...? You can't do that!" "I did what I had to, he'd have killed you." "NO, NO! And even if, it's not on to you to judge him." "What?! I saved your life and now I'm the bad guy?" "You killed him, you're nothing better than him!"

When I was old enough to read, a learned the old languages, long forgotten by my kin, saved by the few who names themselves the Goners. I learned everything about the true history, and I wanted our people to know too.

"You are charged for taking another sentient beings life. Do you have anything to say?" "I acted in self-defense to save the live of brother Jason Suno." "So you plead guilty." "What? No! I did nothing wrong, I saved his life!"

When I reached adulthood, I dedicated my live to preserve and teach the true history to anyone willing to embrace it. Day and Night i worked, collected the pieces, put them together and added them to the Book of Truth. And then, Julian Gardna found earth and I learned an valuable lesson.

"You are hereby found guilty of treason against the Light of R'Gunne and sentenced to exile. You'll never again enter the temple."

Every sheep needs a sheep dog to defend it against the wolves. Someone tainted by the blood of the demons, willing to sacrifice everything for the good of the pure.

Go in peace Jona Nathan Pareii."

I understand it now. I do the right thing. I do what is necessary. But I'm not the good guy. Not anymore.

"It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it."
Last edited by RyuKazuha on Sun, 22. Aug 10, 02:18, edited 9 times in total.

RyuKazuha
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue, 22. Aug 06, 10:38
x3tc

Post by RyuKazuha » Wed, 9. Jun 10, 01:46

Setup:
X3:TC 2.7 *modified*

Start:
Goner Preacher

Mods and Scripts:
[Apricotslice]
Apricot HUB Plot Hard v3
[Cadius]
Xtra Ship and Station Pack
[Cycrow]
Advanced Navigation Software
Improved Boarding
Move To Coordinates
Station Camper
Emergency Transporter Extension
[ThisIsHarsh]
NPC Bailing Addon
Salvage Commands & NPCs

Rules:
- DiD
- only save at stations
- no Repair Laser use on Capital Ships
- abandoned M6, M7, TL, M2 and M1 have to be boarded with Marines

Goals
- set up a business
- assemble a fleet
- retrieve the Aran
- find a new home (solve all plots)

I'm open to any suggestions for other rules or goals.

RyuKazuha
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue, 22. Aug 06, 10:38
x3tc

Post by RyuKazuha » Wed, 9. Jun 10, 13:12

[Chapter 01]
Exiled

"Economics is, at root, the study of incentives:
how people get what they want, or need,
especially when other people want or need the same thing."


He was exiled. For saving another Goners life he was exiled from the temple for all eternity. Slowly walking through the corridors, with his fingers sliding along the wall, Jona made his way to the Hangar Bay, where his last personal asset was waiting to take him into an unknown future.

He still didn't understand the sentence, nor had he fully realized what it meant, not to be considered member of the goners by his former mates any longer. But walking alone was as itself a new, terrifying experience. Usually he had been accompanied by another brother, or sister, but this time, he was alone, nobody comforting him, nobody greeting him, nobody to see him off.
For the first time in his life he faced disgust and contempt among his former family, unable to think of anything worse. Suddenly, lines of an acient song crossed his mind and his lips formed words and melody.

I see a red door and I want it painted black.
No colors anymore, I want them to turn black.
I see the girls walk by, dressed in their summer cloth.
I have to turn my head, until my darkness goes."


Jona reached the hangar and found his Ranger at the first glance. It had been taken to the launch bay already and it seemed his docking place was already filled with another mans ship. The Elders certainly wanted to have him gone by yesterday.

"I see a line of cars, and they're all painted black.
With flowers and my live both never to come back.
I see them turn their heads and quickly look away.
Like a new born baby it just happens everyday."


The cockpit opened with a slight hydraulic fizzling. The mans backback was thrown at the second seat and Jona took the one meant for the pilot. A couple of quick snaps accompanied the process of waking up the ship. "Welcome Jona N. Pareii. Please confirm your Identity." Jon pressed his thumb on the finger print reader. "Identity confirmed." With a growl the engine came to live.

"I look inside myself and see my heart is black.
I see my this red door and I want it painted black.
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts.
It's not easy facing up, when the whole world is black."


"Engine at 70%. Dry motoring cycle complete. All system clear and ready for take of." Jonas hand rested at the throttle lever. "Clearance for take off." The Ex-Priest hesitated. He didn't want to leave, for the first time in his life he was forced to leave the temple at all. Then suddenly he pushed the lever up to full acceleration, leaving the hangar way above the allowed speed.

He wasn't a goner anymore. Not bound to their codex anymore, but not permitted to obey it either. While his family had abandoned them, and permitted him to once again open the book of truth, Jona was very well aware he'd be able to learn a lot more about terran history at Terra itself. Or even in the outer rim of Sol.

With the Ranger slowly crawling towards the gate, Jona tried to concentrate on the future, rather than on the past. The ship was equipped with a Transporter, Visual Enhancement goggles for space fly watching, a SETA-System and 23 E-Cells. Why there were 23 E-Cells aboard, Jona couldn't tell, but selling them would easily double his account, wich currently floated at staggering 350 Credits. Merely enough to survive a month.

Very to Jonas delight an Ore Mine in Treasure Chest was desperate enough to buy any amount of Cells offered to them at a price of 19 Credits, netting 437 in all, and thus saving the Goners life for another month, assuming he wouldn't get in trouble.
Unable to do anything other than that in the Sector, Jona decided to bet his money on Omciron Lyrae. Either he'd find some work there, or make his way to Heretic's End. Not the most promising sector in name to him, but under Terran Control and thus very attractive.

"My love has gone to ... avalon..." The thick mists of Omicron Lyrae engulfed the Ranger, practically blinding its pilot. Jona cursed the non believers, when he noticed that his star charts had been erased.
Stumbling through the fog, barely pointed to the center of the sector he hoped to see anything at the scanner before kissing some other ship, a station or even an asteroid. Somewhere near triple zero he knew the Equipment Dock would be, and from there with a vector of -1, -1, -1 he'd find the Shipyard, to sell the ranger and get something useful instead.

But the Ionic Mist fooled him. Jona noticed it, when the North Gates blueish glow penetrated through the toxic green nebulae. "Holy R'Gunne." The ex-priest opened the map to readjust his flight path, when something caught his eye. An astronaut just at the brink of sensor range. "Poor one." was the first thought. The second remained unspoken, but triggered activity. A bailed pilot usually meant an abandoned ship nearby. Judging the flight path of the seemingly Teladi Pilot, Jona estimated the direction and set a course, somewhat unsure about claiming the wreckage or not to, he decided to find it, before solving this issue.

There it was. A totally beaten up Teladi Buzzard, even less then a husk, barely holding together at all. Jona assumed, that even a Teladi would be conclude to leave this wreckage where it was, and buying a new or at least a less holey one instead.
The men himself on the other hand had nothing and less, so the payout would very well outweigh the time he was going to need to patch it together.

Several hours later the miracle was done, and the Buzzard once again sparkling as new. Most of it was false front, but made well enough to fool any unsuspecting buyer and since most used fighters were sold to civilians, the armor probably wouldn't matter anyways.

Jona was quite surprised how easy it was to abandon the principles of care for the well being of others and to put oneself in the first place. He had to find reasons, but was quite sure, they wouldn't have animated him to do something like this just half a day ago.
Still, his conscious was quit when he sold the ship for about 350.000 Credits and thus saved his existence for the rest of his life, ore somewhat less, if he lived above the absolute minimum.
But when he got back to the Ranger, he was surprised by a teladi merchant, waiting for him.
"Hello, thissss your ssship?" he asked looking at the Ranger with his yellow eyes. "Last time I checked it was." he answered and smiled friendly. "How may I help you, friend?" "Me wantssss sssship. Will give many Creditsssss" "Pardon me, this ship is not for sale." The Teladi eyeballed his dialog partner and fizzled some words in his mother tongue. After that he just pulled out his calculator, typing in a sum. When it was given to Jona, it showed 2.9 Million, with some added peanuts. "What do you think?" Jona gulped, it was an offer of retirement, more or less. "I've no other ship." he mentioned. The Teladi just smiled. "This is a check. Go and buy yourself the ship you like. If you transfer the ship controls to me withing 3 Stazuras, everything will be fine, if not I'll cancel the deal." The Ex-Priest slowly reached out to grab the check and nodded. "Thanks for your generosity."
Hearing this, the Teladi grimaced. "Don't offend me, human. Thisssssss isssssn't a gift to you, it'sss an invesssssstment wich will pay out well." Jonas eyebrow went up for a moment. "Ehr, of course. I assume I don't even want to know how..." "I guesss. My contact info wasss ssssent to you already. I'll be waiting." With these words the lizard disappeared within the crowded docking area.

The moment he had seen the price, the Pareii knew he would sell. With the money made from the Buzzard and this, he could have taken the next Starliner to Argon Prime or any other Planet and live happy till the black hooded skeleton would come after him.
Only one thing kept him from doing so: He loved space. He loved it, because it was wide open and filled with opportunities.
Down on the planets and on the stations people worked their ass of to gain their 10.000 Credits a year, and called it a good life to make three times of that. But out in the dark the initial 40.000 Credits for an M5 quickly turned into gold, literally.

Without regret Jona took the check to the next ship vendor, where the only choice to be was, if he would continue with a TP or a Freighter, or both. Then he remembered an message wich he had gotten prior to being banished from the temple. Something about the Argon wanting all citizens of the Commonwealth to build relations with the Terrans. Something he was most eager to do.
Eventually his thoughts pointed him to an Mercury-Model XL Super Freighter, worth about 1.2 Million Credits, with another 300.000 worth of equipment to allow him mining as well as direct and remote trade.
He than transfered equipment and his personal belongings from the Ranger to the new Ship, named it "Diogenes Laertius" honoring a Terran philosopher and historian predating modern Terran calculation of times at least 300 Years making his name and legacy as old as three millennia.

With his new ship, the Ex-Priest made his way to the West, hearing of a supply shortage there, as many freighters had been destroyed during a recent Xenon attack, with reports of a Q still ravaging Scale Plate Green.

The Diogenes crawled into the large sector, and it wasn't to hard to find out, where the supply chain was severed the most: The XL Power Plant was filled to the brim, and at least two factories almost out of fresh cells.
But before even starting to haul goods around, Jona contacted a nearby pilot who advertised his Discoverer Hauler for Sale.
Round about 77.000 Credits changed the owner, as did the ship, wich was ordered to dock at the power plant as well. Not that Jona wanted it to haul around freight, but he rather wanted to use it while remote controlling the Diogenes.

While he took his time repairing the Discoverer, the Diogenes was doing its business as intended. From the first load, 8700 Cells bought at a price of 12 Credits per Cell, 7350 were sold at the local rimes factory with a 50% pay out. The ship returned to the Power Plant, refilled its cargo hold with dead cheap merchandise and headed of for the Alpha Wheat Farm. Selling the full hold of 8700 for the highest price possible. And another full load reached the Beta Wheat Farm, selling for 19 Credits a piece.

Meanwhile the Discoverer was repaired and Jona scouted the local asteroids for an opportunity to mine, refraining from searching Scale Plate Green wich he hadn't heard good news about.
On the way back to Omicron Lyrae and thinking about setting up an Ore Mine on a promising asteroid, Jona also bought a buster, for sale for only 200.000 Credits.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Last edited by RyuKazuha on Wed, 9. Jun 10, 21:09, edited 3 times in total.

Madw0lf
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x3

Post by Madw0lf » Wed, 9. Jun 10, 17:59

That didnt take you long :) I shall miss Golo but this is already looking good! :)

RyuKazuha
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue, 22. Aug 06, 10:38
x3tc

Post by RyuKazuha » Thu, 10. Jun 10, 20:14

Well... addict. x[

Side note: I also use Apricots Hub Tweak (Hard) wich reduces the requirements of the hub to 10% of the vanilla value. I did beat the Hub often enough and I'd be just tedious and unpleasant, for me as well as for you.

_______________________________________

[Chapter 02]
Strangers

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find resources of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."

"Hey there pilot. We're assembling a small wing to escort some Terran Diplomats to Heretic's End. I bet it would improve your file."
Jona showed surprise. He had been a little sleepy for the last hour, but certainly not enough to dream about some Argon Military Guy to recruit him, an Ex-Goner, in an unshielded buster, armed with a single IRE to protect Terran Diplomats.
It was just way to unreal to be made up by his subconscious. So it was either a joke or real. "If you're interested, report at the locale Equipment Dock within two hours. Over and Out." Jona was suspicous, but even more he was curious. He had returned to Omicron Lyrae to scan the local roids for profitable mining opportunities and to sell the buster, and suddenly this flower of fate just grew in front of him.

Jona made his way to the Dock and bought as many 1MJ Shields as possible: 3. Afterwards he reported for duty and was added to the escort wing. Very to his surprise, as he had mentioned the condition of his Ship.

When the Terran Transport Ship appeared, the former Goner was intrigued by its apperance. Without any hint of aggression it still illustrated the superiority of Terran ship design and technology.
"Pareii, tail the scabbar, you'll be our last stand. Anything we can't interecept, is taken away from the Terrans by you."
That sounded like he had to play the bait when it came to the worst. But at least the didn't asked him to take part in the slaughter. "Understood."

The flight was uneventful, save for bitching between the highest ranks of Argon and Terran and a lonesome pirate who was dusted before he even had the time to consider the scabbard a target.
But entering Heretics End, the konvoy was greeted by a Xenon Wing. two M and two N attacking from the north west. Jona gulped and stayed near to the terran ship, more concerned for his own safety, rather than to be able to guard the ship wich continued its flight to the patrol station.
The Argon managed to bind the Ms, wich were outrun by the Terran TP anyways and one N, but the second closed distance pretty fast, being three times faster than the Scabbard under full thrust.

Jona wasn't even able to remember the last time he pulled a trigger. Back in flight school he assumed, but he wasn't sure at all, as he turned his can to face the angry machine.
The auto targeting system did the most work anyways and pulling the trigger against a crazy computer wasn't exactly against the code either, even if it was deemed an act of violence to shoot a gun.
Fortunately the ship was as badly shielded as his own, and slower too, allowing him to keep it in check until his wing leaders eclipse pulverized it for good. "Well done Pareii, now back to escort position." "Ehr, thanks. Aye Sir."
With a pulse way beyond normal and shaking hands Jona got back in position.

Only some minutes after the battle, a fleet of heavy war left the north gate and took formation, even without the mighty tyr leading it, the assembly of ships was as terrifying as awe-inspiring.
Easy enough it was, to image how these ships wreaked havoc on the whole Commonwealth in search for a worthy opponent, but suddenly Jona realized, that they weren't build to conquer, not to attack, but rather to defend peace, to disencourage war mongers and to ensure the safety of the homeworld.

Dressed in wargear they were branded with the sigil of justice and guided by the reign of wisdom. A sword never to be raised first, but ready to shatter anyone dull enough to wage war.
Suddenly Jona felt on his face what he had seen on his former brothers' and sisters' faces. Contempt, disgust, but not against himself or the terrans, but against the cowardly nature of his former comrades.

When the Terrans proposed work and the position of an emissary of the commonwealth nations, all of the Argon Pilots refused, all but one: Jona. Not really because Erin Iovy was charming in any way, but because he wanted to see the origin. Terra. Mother Earth. Or at least what lay in reach: the outer rim of Sol.
Within an few hours drowning in paperwork, his papers were finally filed and his visa acknowledged. Before long he sat in his Discoverer, ordered the Diogenes Laertius to follow him and made his way to the Gate, wich would lead him into the Asteroid Belt.

Unfortunately, the old ship wasn't in the best shape. Being put back together by a layman didn't help that much, so half way on the way to Jupiter the engines suddenly died and everything went black. Literally, since an asteroid blocked the sunlight. At least the emergency energy hopped in to supply the life support systems.
Jona was trapped. The next station was more than an hour away, not to be reached by suit alone. And the Cockpit was sealed, so getting out meant to blast it off. A one way ticket to either freedom or death. The ex-priest sighed. Finally fortuna dumped him, and seemingly into a very very very deep pit.

Jona was given two hours to hate the world, everyone in it - including himself - his bad luck and the inventors of AGI, especially them, since they caused him no to be born on earth, or at least a colony of it, from were it would have been no problem to take a star liner to earth.

"Yo dog, messed up?" it suddenly sounded from the com. Jona startled and looked around. "Hellooooo?" the voice asked. "Yeah, I'm here. Please, save me, my engine kind of died out here."
"Okay, get it, calm down brother. Heavy Metal Mak will take care of your problem." Jona was confused, yet grateful. "Thanks a lot, ehr..." "Call me Mak, brother, call me Mak. Okay... be ready for pick up."

Heavy Metal Mak, called like that referencing his ships name (Heavy Metal) as well as his taste for over pitched highly aggressive music featuring axes and heavy drums, was a man on the road, as he liked to put it. He had nothing but his ship, wich he used to haul small amounts of cargo around. His main purpose in life was, to enjoy it, and nothing more.

"Damn, this stuff is just... whooo!" The freighter pilot offered a couple of cigarette-like things to Jona. "Will take us a while to get to Saturn. Take a sliff and enjoy." Jona looked at the chest, reached out and closed it. "I'd prefer not to." he answered kindly. "Isn't this illegal anyways?"
Mak laughed. "Well it would if this would come from the solar system. But Space Weed isn't listed as a narcotic yet, so strictly spoken it is: perfectly legal." Mak took a deep breath. "Makes it just more enjoyable."

For some time, both pilots remained silent. Then his mouth spoke, what his eyes had asked way before. "You've some funny cloths." he said. "You a priest or somethin' like that?" Jona sighed. "Used to be." Mac grinned. "Not anymore?" "I kind of got myself exiled from the temple." "Reason?" "Stabbed someone." Jona shrugged and Mac got a good laugh. "So you're hiding from the commonwealth, eh?" Jona negated this instantly by mimic and gesture. "No, it was in self defence. One of the other preachers was attacked, a stepped in to help." "And they blew you?" "Pretty much, yes." Jona started to feel laughed at, even though he knew Mac was probably laughing at his former brothers. "Damn, the world really is f*cked up. Well enough, at least we got to meet each other." Jona smiled, than he laughed, at himself, at Mak, at the world. "F*ck it."

"If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake — Aye, what then?"
Last edited by RyuKazuha on Fri, 11. Jun 10, 02:28, edited 1 time in total.

RyuKazuha
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue, 22. Aug 06, 10:38
x3tc

Post by RyuKazuha » Thu, 10. Jun 10, 22:44

[Chapter 03]
Outer Rim

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

"So, what drove you here?" Mak asked after some time of laughing about more or less pointless jokes and life in general.
Jona shrugged. "I felt it was my destiny, somehow." "Your destiny?" "Right. Don't laugh." "I'll try." Mak put on a serious face and kept himself from laughing by putting a hand on his mouth. Jona just grinned and shook his head slightly.
"I was a Goner. We were... well, the keepers of the true history. For centuries the Argon Government tried to bury our origin from earth. I guess they wanted to be more then just... lost in space. So they began to make up history, or just shrouded it in the fog of time. Soon the "lost centuries" became real and nobody remembered who we were and where we had come from. Save from the Temple.
The day Julien found earth, we were finally acknowledged as what we were the whole time. Those who spoke the truth."
Jona gazed at the stars outside of the cockpit window. "Our ancestors saved earth by sacrificing their home. We belong to this place, as well as we belong to our dedicated home worlds. It's the origin. And all shall return to where it came from, ashes to ashes" "Dust to Dust." Jona smiled. "I guess that is what drove me here." Mak nodded. "I understand. But it may be kind of a problem. Even I can't get to earth that easily. You need ATF clearance first." "That I was told. Anyways, if I want to get there, it's best I start working at it here, isn't it?"

"How do you make your living?" Mak asked after another pause. Jona took a draft out of a can given to him by his dialogue partner. "Somewhat like you. My exile began just some days ago. I hauled around energy cells ever since, well, and got here." "You hauled in this little thingy?" "No!" Jona laughed hard. "I might be inexperienced, but I'm not dumb. Even though it's called a hauler variant. No, I've a freighter by my own."
"So what do you know about trade?" "Well." the Ex-Priest hesitated. "It's all about buying low and selling high." "And how do you do it properly?" Jona shrugged. "Did it somehow, made profit."

Mak tapped Jonas Shoulder. "I can't let you go without a little lesson about being a proper hawker." he said and activated his trade interface. "Okay. The first rule for a hawker is: If you see merchandise on the lowest possible price, buy it. You'll make a profit no matter what." He pointed out some examples with the help of his controls. "Second rule: the best start is a low one, means: you start at the lower end of the supply chain. E-Cells for example. Then you just go for the factory buying at best price. Once you're there, look what they've got. If they are stocked with products and sell low, buy and go on to the next, if they don't, look what they need and if you can get it nearby, do it and sell it to them. Next Factory, same thing, until you get to the top where you have to sell to the Docks." Mak again illustrated his words at the screen.
"Rule 3. If you don't find a factory, check the Docks. Many wares in Sol are provided from the surface of its planets, the Docks stock them at average price, always." Jona nodded, following the screen play. "And last Rule, 4: There's no bad profit. No matter how small it is, profit is profit. You'll loose more if you let go of an opportunity to search for a better one and don't find it, or wait for it. If you can't use a better opportunity cause the first occupies you, you still make profit."

"Logical." "And if you get your hands on a Scabbard, you'll have lots of people to taxi around the system. There's always a dire need for shuttles in Sol."Okay, I'll keep it in mind." Mak grinned, as he lighted another spliff. "Hope so. Anyways we're almost there. Saturn Shipyards..."

The structure Jona was facing had to be the biggest build by humans. Ever. It easily laughed at any station build in the Commonwealth or otherwise known Space.
Mak disembarked his friend at one of the Docks and was on his way again, as soon as the Aishylos was towed into the Hangar. There the problem was easily repaired with the right spare parts and the ship was ready for action again.

But Jona didn't intend to use it soon. Like a young child on Christmas morning he walked through the hallways and showrooms, soon regretting the puplic decks only had a couple of square kilometers to explore.
BUt he wasn't in any position to get to see more, so he just bought something. A Scabbard (Xenophanes) first, than two Baldrics (Anaximander and Anaximenes). Equipping them with every update available, he decided to follow Maks advice, every single bit of it.

He already knew were to begin: Saturn itself and Jupiter, both of wich had Solar Power Plants. To find other promising locations he hopped into the Aishylos and took his time to explore the whole outer rim from Jupiter 3 to Oort Cloud.
As soon as this was done, the third freighter was assigned to Neptun and while the three freighters hauled Energy Cells, Ice, Water, Protein Paste and other things around, all remotely controlled from aboard the Xenophanes, Jona enjoyed the second veritable source of income and taxied around who needed a ride in the right direction.
Meanwhile the Aishylos was send out to scout the Teladi Sectors beyond Nyana's Hideout in search for exploitable asteroids, as Jona still kept his plans on getting into the mining business at some point of time.

However it was the only move into that direction. Of highest concern was his relation with the Terrans as he needed them to get the building licenses for Terran Stations in Terran Space. And he needed to get permissions for an outside TL to trespass Asteroid Belt, probably the most problematic step and, if time and effort were measured in money, a lot more costly then just buying his own.
But time and effort were available for free, as there were plenty of time to file papers, while the Xenophanes traveled from destination to destination.

Finally at least the paper work for a business license was done. Jona Nathan Pareii was now registered citizen of Saturn 1 (he actually had to rent an apartment, though never using it). And allowed to employ other Terrans in Terran Space (for wich he had to rent an office, of course).

The "heavenly" Bureaucracy claimed a bit of everything, put primary it ate money for breakfast, lunch and supper. Just to fit out a ship with everything needed to get is licensed as a trading vessel numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Basically the equipment was more expansive than the freighter itself, and with all taxes, dues and bribes Jona had to pay about half a million per freighter, the freighter itself NOT included.

There certainly was a reason to this. And comparing Sol to the Commonwealth made it quite obvious. While the Terran had been unified under on Stellar Organization for centuries, the Commonwealth Races where divided among themselves, with powerful super corporations raising their own fleets and in at least one case actively turning against their government,

A big plant was known to need two things to flourish: good soil and no competition with others. A tree grew tallest outside of the forest and the Terrans were master lumberjacks. By impeding any kind of Trade Corporation in its grow, while leaving "private" traders almost completely alone, they had managed to limit any kind of trade operation to a size one human was able to handle alone, with the justified prosecution of artificial intelligences being of great help.

Probably the richest Terrans where those, who where the first to rent freighters to private pilots. A system only running on the instinct of self preservation present in any given member. A system as effective, as fragile. In the secluded Space of the Solar System it was relatively easy to maintain, but it already began to fail, as joining the growing military offered better payment to all pilots then hauling freight could ever provide.

Eventually Jona managed to get, what he needed. He paid enough and fought of everything keeping him from opening his business and started to look out for pilots who would trade instead of fight, for a better paycheck as well.
Some time after his job offer was released to the public, Jona sat in the Cockpit of the Xenophanes, now modified to serve as a mobile home, reviewing applications while shuttling around Terrans, someone knocked at the door.

"Come in." he called and turned his seat as the door opened. Surprise, as well as disbelief covered his face for a brief moment, followed by a delighted smile. "Mak!" Jona stand up to shake hands with his friend. "Hey buddy." "Long time no see. What's up?"
Mak was smiling, but he didn't seem to be happy at all. Jona read his face like a book, even if not an open one, the cover was quite clear about the content.
"You're in trouble, right?" He asked and pointed at the Co-Pilots seat. "Take a seat." Mak had nodded to the question. "Thanks." With a small sighed he fell into the chair and it took him some time to start speaking again.
"My lessor terminated the contract. I've lost my freighter." he said. "Only three more months and it would've been mine for good, but his business went bad and I didn't have the money to pay the rest, so he cut me off and sold my ship." Jona saw him gulp, Mak's eyes got wet as he talked. "I tried to rent other freighters, but it's to expensive now. Quadruple from what I paid. In one or two months everything a saved will be gone. And than I saw your offering..." Mak sighed again, and Jona turned to his consoles to check if all the passengers were aboard.
"Is your record clean?" he asked. Mak was shocked. "WHAT?!" he exclaimed, but shut up as Jona turned around and their eyes met. "Look, I will help you in any way possible. But I need you to be honest. I know you smoked space weed, I know you enjoy a drink. I try to run a business here and I don't need any unexpected trouble. I'll either give you a ship and you'll be on your own from there on, OR I do what I can to get you into my Corporation. So just give me this one answer: Is your record clean?"
Mak sat down. "Yes." he answered. "I never was collared or charged for anything bigger than rushing the hangar." Jona smiled. "Good. I could need an experienced Pilot, wanna join?" Mak rose his head, smiled. "Hell yeah."

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Last edited by RyuKazuha on Sun, 13. Jun 10, 02:59, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by RyuKazuha » Sat, 12. Jun 10, 14:17

As always I'll be gratefull for any feedback provided by you, first it'll push my ego, and second I'll be able to tell if you like it and if not, why.
_____________________________________
[Chapter 04]
Enemy

"The shaft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction."

Pareii Transportation still was a small venture, but nether the less it was successful. Before long, Jona and Mak had hired three other Pilots, namely Leo Fisty, Ban Nedley and Leo Springer and send each one to key sectors within the solar system. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, with each pilots operational zone expanding into the nearby sectors in time.

Jona himself still taxied around everyone who wanted him too and made money this way, while supervising his pilots and directing the Aishylos to explore the vast resources waiting in the asteroid fields of the belt and the far out solar system.

Still his biggest problem was to get a hired TL inside Human Space. At last he was allowed to temporarily hire some Terrans to steer the Argon Mammoth and payed the Argons to wait for their ship in presidents end, while it was taken to Saturn to supply a small Factory and base of operations for the Ex-Priest and his pilots.

Eventually, after a long time and continuing trouble the crew managed to dock the TL, allowing Jona to purchase a Protein Paste Blending Facility, M sized, wich he decided to place in Saturn itself, somewhat of the main Trade lanes in the North West.
While other places where more promising in terms of profit, Jona had two major reasons to choose Saturn: He wanted his base of operations to be near the Terran Shipyard, and he did not want any more trouble with the TL.

The downside of trading Protein paste was, that while in constant need, it was also provided from the planetary facilities and sold at a constant average price. To sell, Jona had to do it below that price, but since the Solar Power Plant of Saturn provided Energy at minimum prize, "Pareii Protein" was still profitable without a freighter dedicated to distribute the product. Quite important considering the Priest bank account almost running dry on the setup.

Some time later, Jona had just invested most of his earnings into a sparkling new Mani and 2 EM-Pulse-Cannons his contract with the USC kicked in and he was assigned to a routine patrol mission in Uranus Orbit.
A pretty good opportunity to test the new ships speed and maneuverability, he thought and enjoyed the flight. At least until an AGI invasion at Neptune was reported and Jona got to test more than he'd wanted to.
They main protection of the Mani was his swiftness. Able to outrun any Missile used by the AGI ships and with a way superior weapons range, it easily demolished the Ns and Ms it came across in the Sector.
For speed also, the Ex-Priest was chosen to guard the Accelerator of Oort Cloud against any AGI messenger drone trying to leave the solar system.
Jona destroyed 3 drones, before discovering an unidentified Argon Nova near a Jump Beacon at Oort Cloud. As he commed it, it immediately jumped away, destroying the beacon in the process, but without any information from the drones, wich all had been either captured or destroyed.

AGI. Terraformers. Made by man to colonize new worlds, to turn them into a habitat and image of the blue pearl named Terra, they had turned on their creators and became the scourge of the known galaxy. Some minor religious groups interpreted it as the "second treason" with the first being mankind's treason against their gods long ago.

They were machines, driven by a mad logic of destruction and reproduction, like galactic termites breaking down everything in their path to use it as a material to replicate and thus get even hungrier.
At least this was the picture painted by the book of truth and Terran Historians and Jona had seen enough to believe it. The Xenon were the evil, wich finally led to the total failure of the lifestyle invoked by the Goners. The evil wich he, Jona Nathan Pareii, the Exile, would fight until his very last breath, the shadows he wanted to take away to allow the pure souls to flourish in bright sunlight.

"Mak. I want you to recover any disabled ship left behind by the battle. Especially AGI ships. Keep one for us, deliver the others to the Shipyards at Saturn and sell them." "You want to keep a Terraformer?" "I did say this, didn't I? Make sure they don't notice it. If I want to fight these devils, I need to start my own research." Mak wasn't to eager to hide AGI Technology, but at last he obeyed the order given by his superior, while still trying to convince his friend to the opposite.

Giving him access to mars and new Rapier, Major General Ishiyama of the ATF also send Jona back into the Commonwealth. Not get rid of him, but to have him investigate the incident further, as more sightings of Xenon Ship accompanied by others had been reported.
The priest just sold the ship and made his way to Heretic's End, to wait for further instructions. Contacting Mak, he entrusted him with running the Corporation until Jona himself would return, before he was send to Scale Plate Green, a Sector bordering Xenon Territory.

The Mani - called "Dionysos Areopagita" - made the trip a fairly fast one. Leaving behind a Q in Nyana's Hideout he got to Scale Plate Green early enough to watch a freighter light up in a burst of plasma, attacked by the Xenon Band with another Nova accompanying them.
As he was told, Jona kept himself from attacking the scattering Xenon and figured, that his ship, though an excellent design, was not to be considered to compete with PBE-equipped Ls in any way.

The journey of the Nova - for its paint job Jona considered it to be of pirate origin - and the Mani following it was fairly short. Through PTNIs South Gate they traveled into the Unknown Sector beyond it and there to a pirate station.
Jona reported back to his commanding officer and was told to scan the base. As he did, a freighter undocked and jumped away, while half a dozen of fighters launched their attack on the unwanted guest.
Six of them, 2N, 1 M, 1 Buster und 2 Novas between Jona and his target presented a problem, but not really one he was unable to handle, assuming the pirates were eager enough to actually erase him for good.

He circled the group and made a run for open Space. Naturally the Pirates broke formation and every ship approached at its maximum speed. All compared nothing to the Mani, but pretty different among each other, allowing Jona to pick his targets and take it out one by one. First the Ns turned to dust, than he disabled the Buster and the M, leading the Novas further into dark space.
After they left behind the two disabled ships about 20km, he circled the two slow M3, captured the other two ships, repaired them and send the buster to Saturn, while the M was to be recovered by Mak and his Freighter in Omicron Lyrae and afterwards shipped to Pareii Protein.

Eventually Jona scanned the Pirate Base and returned to Heretic's End to deliver his findings to the ATF, while carefully erasing any trace of the take over of Xenon Technology.

But the campaign wasn't over yet. With the base of operations presumably discovered, it was time to fight off the Xenon Attacks on the nearby Argon System. Just to make a point. To help him, the Ex-Priest was given three partially equipped Rapiers, wich he just stripped for their weapons to equip the Dionysos and send them off for sale as well.

The Patrol was headed through Circle of Labor - wich was as untainted as a new born baby and Omicron Lyrae - quit too - into treasure chest, were Xenon attacked a small convoy.
No, not Xenon, Terranformers. Jona was just as surprised as the USC-Pilots assigned to him, who confirmed his suspecion of those ships being a lot closer to the old terraforming drones. They still even used EM-Pulse Cannons, while the Xenon had adapted to an much wider array of weapons.
They were, however, not the bester fighters. Jona assumed them to be of the M5 or M4 Class, light shielded and without heavy armament, quickly toasted by EMPC-Blasts.
Only one Ship was not destroyed but rather disabled. Jona barely noticed it before sending of the other pilots and they didn't resist, so he decided to capture it as well.
The model turned out to be named #deca.deaf and fit into the M4 category in terms of speed, maneuverability and load out. Again, Mak wasn't happy about his assignment, but he did not resist. In fact, he seemed to get interested in studying them himself, at least to some degree.

Again everything about the capture deleted from the ships log files, before Jona returned to Terran Space and got assigned to his last Mission for this campaign: escorting a Scabbard loaded with terraformer wreckage from Heretic's End to Venus.
The flight was uneventful, save for a J jumping into Mars, just to get blown to bits by a passing ATF Fleet. Those Guys knew their business, no question there.

"O, it is excellent to have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant."

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Post by RyuKazuha » Sat, 12. Jun 10, 16:58

[Chapter 05]
Intersections

"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.

The Protein Paste Blending Facility had two hangars. One of those was treated as a private docking bay for Jona, the only one allowed to enter being himself and his partner in crime, Mak.

No that Mak was very pleased to be in the position he was. Curiosity aside, he still quarreled with hiding AGI technology right under the nose of the terran government.
"If somebody finds out what you're doing here, we'll be space walking naked." he clamored. "If you don't care about your life, so be it, but I've got family! I've a wife and a daughter back home." Jona rolled his eyes. "You know the door, don't you? I never forced you to do anything, did I?" "I wish you had, would save my life."
Jona grinned and approached the Xenon M, wich was stored alongside the N and the #deca.deaf. "If you want to make the world save for your little one, this is the way to go." "So you got from priest to vigilante with one kill?" "Pretty much, I guess. At least I don't want to be at the ATFs mercy. Sooner or later they'll realize they need help." Mak stopped. "Wait, what?" Jona turned and eyeballed him. "The Nations are struggling with themselves as well as each other. Resources are scarce, money doesn't grow on trees." he explained. "But it's easier to just pay someone to clean up your mess, than it is to build and maintain a fleet. So mercenaries arise, Corporations grow and provide military power."
The Ex-Priest examined the marks left by his weapon fire. At one point the plasma had burnt through the hull and destroyed the computer core, entirely. The rest of the design however was perfectly intact.
"What are you trying to say?" "I say: We'll grow, we'll build our own fleet and we'll take the fight to the Xenon. And everyone who tries to disturb peace." Maks eyes illustrated his disbelief quite open. He took a deep breath, before he even attempted to ask, if Jona was serious, knowing that he actually was. Jona just continued to examine the ship. "Of course I am. It'll take time and effort, but that's what you're working for, in the long run." He glanced at his friend. "You'll have some time, before you have to choose whether you want to be a trader, or my second in command." He shrugged. "And I really don't want to see you naked, so I'll take that walk on my own."

For half a minute it was silent, before Mak shook his head. "No." he said. "I wont let you get through with this martyr-shit. Neither of us will space walk." Jona raised his head, positively surprised. "See, THAT was unexpected." Mak crimped his forehead. "You thought I'd back off?" he distrustfully asked. Jona just laughed. "No. Expected it to take more time."

It's said, that the only way to move a mountain, is by pure willpower. This as right as it is wrong. Will alone is nothing but the fuel that allows you to keep going. It's what enables you to find a way, and to stay with it until the end.
Jonas will to fight against the Xenon was pure and strong, but to fight the Xenon he needed Ships and Weapons, and to produce those, he needed resources, and money to get the resources. Much money, much more than he had, as well as reputation among the USC Bureaucracy and of Course the leading caste of the ATF. A single Factory had to grow into a large empire. Driven by willpower as well as by economic calculation.

Later that day, Jona sat in his office, validating accounts and organizing his employees schedule for the next week. Suddenly a little beep informed him about an incoming live stream.
"Good Evening Mister Pareii." "General. Good Evening." "I have to speak with you in person." "Aye Sir, where are you?" "At your doorstep."
Suddenly the room went dark, when the Sunlight was cut of by the massive statue of the Odin at the outside. With eyes like saucers Jona stared at the ship, gulped. "Please stand up and prepare to be transported aboard." Jona stood up, confused and nothing less than scared to his bones.

Moments later he was aboard the Odin, at an observation deck overlooking "Pareii Protein". Ray Ishiyama sat on a comfortable arm chair, with a glass of cherry in his right. Opposing his seating was a sofa, big enough for up to three people. A gesture asked the Ex-Goner to take a seat, and he did.
"You look scared." the General said with unmistakable amusement. Jona just nodded. "Feel like naked on a spacewalk." he answered then, still in confusion about what just happened. "How did you do that?" he asked, just as his mind had cleared up a bit. "Did what?" "You brought me he despite the factories shields being active." "Oh, that. There may be some loop holes to be exploited by our military." "I see."

Ishiyama had a drink delivered for Jona. Than the General began to explain, why he invited to this conversation. "Okay, now listen carefully I don't want to repeat me:
One of our agents, named Pearl, was taken into custody about four hours ago by the argon police, when he tried to hack a trade stations data hub. They took him to M148, a sector occupied by Argon Intelligence.
This man is one of our best recon agents out there, he was under cover as an argon ever since the first contact. Normally we'd just burn him, but I think he has most valuable Intel about our terraformer problem, so I want you to get him out of there."

Jona leaned back and gulped once again. "Why me?" was the only question he got out. Ichiyama grinned with a bit of sadism. "First and foremost, you are not a born Terran and still Argon Citizen. We can't risk to get more of our own involved, if we don't want to risk an open conflict. Second, you've got military grade equipment and an M5 outrunning any commonwealth ship with fair ease and capable of passenger transport." he began, taking a break to sip on his cherry. "And I know you tried to hide AGI-Ships from us." Jonas Eyes again turned as big as saucers. "Don't worry, I won't do anything to you. To be honest it was two positives in one, first, you would've been successful, if we hadn't fed you a mole in advance, second you can't refuse if you want to avoid a trial." "WHAT?!" Jona was on his feet faster than lightning, a mole? But the only one who... no, no this can't be..."
"I'm sorry Jona." Maks face was marked by genuine regret. "You? You set me up?" "No, well, kind of." Jona just fall back at the sofa. "If you feel better knowing it: Mak was honest with you the whole time, except for the reason his former employee closed business." "And the reason about your need to feed your family." Jona added. Mak still showed regret. "Kind of, yes. But if you'd have thrown me out I wouldn't have been paid by this bastard either." The Pilot sat down on the other End of the sofa.

Jona remembered a term of his youth, quite applicable for such a situation: Owned. "I've no choice, I guess." Ishiyama smiled. "Not really, no. However this is not an official mission either. As I said I have orders to burn Pearl and Mak reports directly to me, so this a private matter and we should handle it like gentlemen. If you help me, I'll forget your private hangar and integrate you further into the mission."
Jona shook his head. "Screw you." he said, half laughing. "What if I do it?" "Either you are successful and we share the glory equally, or you fail, Pearl is burned and this conversation never happened. In this case your business will go to a person or organization of your choice."
"Sounds fair." the Ex-Priest decided, looking at Mak. "Give everything to him if I screw up." "Seriously?" Jona rolled his eyes. "Just stop asking me that."

570m/s, a speed topped only by the Teladis Kestrel Design, made the long way to Grand Exchange quite short. At the local trade station, Jona was told to meet up with another agent, partnered with Pearl and undercover as well. She was the only help Jona would get, and the only help he needed.
The first problem to be solved was to gain access to M148. Hayman, Jonas contact, already had made her own plans to get this done, utilizing a teladi who used to trade her and Pearl intel.
The lizard in question wasn't even reluctant to help them, but following his nature he demanded payment. Also according to his nature he wanted them to do, what he wanted to happen, but didn't want to do himself: garbage disposal.
The garbage appeared in form of another Teladi, a bootlegger and pirate associate deep into the Space Weed Business, who needed to lose his life and his assets.
Jona hesitated, but accepted in the end. In Tears of Greed he waited for his prey, approached it at maximum speed and unloaded the full power of 6 EM-Plasma Cannons unto the target. Three runs were enough to annihilate the ship, at the Mani's speed fast enough to destroy the target before its escorts even realized they were attacked. When they finally did, Jona was long gone, attacking a convoy of freighters associated with the target.

With a captured Vulture and the order to haul 200 Units of Teladianum to M148, Jona and Agent Hayman made their way to the Sector. With the freighter it was a journey as long as the one from Heretic's End down to Grand Exchange in the Mani, and the time was mainly used to stow the M5 away in one of the Vultures freight sections.

So what the Argons got to see was a Vulture hauling Teladianum, escorted by a seasoned Argon Elite. The duo was permitted to land the military outpost and while Jona delivered the materials, Hayman snuck into the station and attempted to rescue her partner.
Jona undocked and waited, presumably for his escort. I reality he waited for Haymen and Pearl to take the nearest air lock, as they did about a minute later. "We're outside! Go! Go!"
A button pushed, the freight section of the Vulture desintegrating and the Mani breaking through the dust. Jona closed distance, beamed the two Terrans aboard and turned towards the gate, leaving the sector, as the alarm began to spread.

"But the speed was power, and the speed was joy, and the speed was pure beauty."
Last edited by RyuKazuha on Sun, 13. Jun 10, 17:05, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by kgkosio » Sun, 13. Jun 10, 01:18

RyuKazuha wrote:[Chapter 03]
Outer Rim

But Golo didn't intend to use it soon. Like a young child on Christmas morning he walked through the hallways and showrooms, soon regretting the puplic decks only had a couple of square kilometers to explore.
BUt he wasn't in any position to get to see more, so he just bought something. A Scabbard (Xenophanes) first, than two Baldrics (Anaximander and Anaximenes). Equipping them with every update available, he decided to follow Maks advice, every single bit of it.
Good story so far. I am glad to see Golo could make a guest appearance.
Fan of the save game manager by badger
Best Steam DiD death: Fly into a TL repeatatly while repairing it

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Post by RyuKazuha » Sun, 13. Jun 10, 17:06

Whoops. This wasn't intended, though a thought about giving some reference to him later on.

Updated Chapter five quite a bit, kind of like how it evolves atm.

Chap 05 done.

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Post by kgkosio » Sun, 13. Jun 10, 17:58

Something strange is happening with this thread. I marked the thread to report updates, and it did when you posted the rest of chapter 5, but the link to your story resulted in a "The topic or post you requested does not exist" message.

I think this may have something to do with the thread being renamed.
Fan of the save game manager by badger
Best Steam DiD death: Fly into a TL repeatatly while repairing it

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Post by RyuKazuha » Sun, 13. Jun 10, 18:59

It's more likely because i deleted and reposted the last post. Sry for that, just wanted to keep the thread as clean as possible. ^^

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Post by RyuKazuha » Mon, 14. Jun 10, 12:39

[Chapter 06]
Resonance

"Perfect courage is to do without witnesses, what one would be capable of doing with the world looking on."

"Good job Mr. Pareii. The Argons filed a formal protest, but it seems they've nothing pressing against us. Agent Pearl, good to have you back." "Thank you Sir. But I'm afraid we can't stay for long. I traced our problem into Split Space." The general glanced at Jona. "Report." "Taking everything into account, I suspect the Families of either Ryk or Zyarth to be involved with this. They hate each other, so they won't share the technology, but they're both power hungry enough to employ such means." Ishiyama seemed neither surprised nor pleased, just contemplative. "Mr. Pareii, I promised to involve you further. I want you to observe the Sectors associated with these families. Take Pearl with you." Jona nodded. "Sir." "Sir."

The duo left the Odin not at the Mani, but at a completely equipped Kopesh M4 named "Marcus Andronicus", provided by Mak using Company funds. It was not as fast as its little Brother (still 360m/s though), but way better shielded and equipped with enough fire power to take on a Commonwealth M6.
Escorted by the faster Mani, it promised safe transportation through Xenon 472 "north" of Black Hole Sun, by far the fastest route to the targeted systems.
The flight was relatively boring until entering 472. Not only was the Sector filled to the brim with Xenon, they even got reinforcements arriving at the eastern gate to Thyn's Abyss.
Jona circled the machines, slipping through between two wings of Xenon, just to realize a whole armada of Xenon went through the Abyss. At least two and a half Dozen of Fighters with 2 Ps among them.
Neither Pearl nor Jona where able to resist the chance, and began to roll up the platoon from behind, destroying 4 Ls and 3 Ms, while capturing one of either class.
Jona decided to send them home the long way, guided and secured by the Dionysos Areopagita, while the Marcus Andronicus set course for family Ryk.

Buying and planting satellites to observe Split Space, Jona continued into Family Zyarth uneventfully. But dropping the sat there, another huge XeNon Fleet of about 20 tightly packed fighters led by a single P showed up, rampaging the system, obviously not in control of anyone - and not spread out wide enough to be attacked by the Ex-Priest with success.
Placing the satellite in Zyarth's Dominion, Pearl already noticed terraformer activity in Family Zyarth. Not Xenon, Terraformers. Immediately returning and meanwhile deducing the contacts had used Jump Drives, the two of them searched for a freighter carrying Jump Drive components.
Their search led them to a Caiman, whose pilot was quite eager to get of the mess, leaving the ship mostly intact. Jona took him into custody for the time being and used his ship to get close to the Elephant, wich was used to produce the Terraformers, with Pearl following him at about 4 kilometers with the Andronicus. Once near enough, Jona planted a tracer, was transported to his own ship and saw the Caiman blow up, as it was attacked by the ships launched from the elephant.
Battling and destroying them completed the ATFs as well as his own objectives, thus they duo made its way to Oceon of Fantasy, where Ishiyama waited for them.

"We have traced this Elephant to an unclaimed sector east of Zyarths Dominion." the general informed. "Within an hour we will attack it with a small fleet, hopefully pinning it down before it jumps again. Pearl will be with us, but I brought you another wingman." A Cutlass undocked from the ship. "Hey brother." Jona smiled. "Hi Mak. Nice ship." "Thanks. Been a while since I last used it, but I'll try not to shoot you." "The targets coordinates are transmitted, we'll meet you there."

"You're really something." Mak stated, as they crossed Family Ryk. "Exiled Priest, CEO, Combat Pilot, Special Agent..." Jona just shrugged in his fighter. "First of all" he said "I'm a humble servant of earth and peace." Mak laughed. "Yeah, you are. And Earth first, eh?" "Yes. It's far easier to end war, than to recreate earth."

Entering the target sector, Jona and Mak dived directly into the fight between the ATF and treacherous Split. Before long they got the task to guard the boarding ships and in formation.
Wiht the Split Fighters occupied by those of the ATF, it was a rather easy task to do, only three Scorpions managed to escape the fur ball and had to be fought of.

Soon the marines boarded the target, captured and secured it. Unfortunately not fast enough to disarm the bombs left by the fleeing crew to destroy all evidence. Nether the less at least one Split Scientist was captured from his escape ship, picked up by Mak, as he and Jona took control of the abandoned Paranid Ships afloat after the battle.
This is General Ishiyama. All hands, gather and prepare to return to Sol. Pareii, Jorwan, dock, I'll give you a ride home."

Back at Mars, Jona decided to sell the Cutlass - wich was now a company asset, and to buy a newer, over all better Verdandi Sentinel Design. Less a traditional M3, than a M4 on hefty steroids, it outran and outgunned even the new Advanced Paranid Perseus, with better shields as another bonus.
But no time to rest, as the Split spit out the name of his tech dealer faster than expected. Marteen Winters, a man deemed dead for centuries. Apparently he was hiding in Aldrin, another asset lost for hundreds of years, more precisely, a former terran Colony, thought to have been destroyed in the Terraformer War.

Jona was intrigued with his own fate. His only wish was to defend earth and bring peace to known Space, and now he helped the ATF to rediscover an old Terran Colony.
He gulped, entering the Moon to join the ATF-Fleet there. Even from a distance Earth was a bright Jewel, more beautiful than anything imaginable. Yet there was no time to stare at it endlessly, instead he needed to dock with the Vidar commissioned to him. It was kitted and outfitted with a jump drive, allowing him to follow the rest of the Fleet to the Colony: Aldrin.

Aldrin was... disappointing, at first. A big bare rock, surrounded by asteroids and old stations built into... asteroids. Not to forget the asteroids. And of course... well, asteroids.
Bare rock in every direction, but at least the nearby - asteroid based - power plant was still working. And inhabited, a ship undocking proved to be piloted by a human, rather than being AGI driven.

As the man explained, Aldrin hadn't been touched by the Terraformer War. The CPU-Ship at Aldrin had apparently decided to protect the settlers and some time after the failure of the Gate Connection and done so ever since, until Winters arrived and took control of it.
Speaking of the devil, the tall black and red cylinder of #deca appeared in the distance, slowly closing in, revealing dozens of fighters of Xenon and Terraformer Origin accompanying it.
"Prepare for battle. Pareii, guard the Boarding Ships, and don't destroy the CPU, we need Winters alive."

Escort, again, But Jona wasn't in a position to complain, as he was suddenly under attack form all sides. He turned the ship, mainly concentrating on pringing the Turrets in the right position, while using the main guns to take out a couple of #deca.cefa M3s.

Half an hour after the initial assault, the marines finally got control over the CPU-Ship, disabling any #deca-associated crafts, thus ending the fight, as the confused Xenon were destroyed one by one. Jona leaned back and took a breath. His ship wasn't even dented, still the fight had consumed a lot of energy, leaving him quite exhausted.
"Pareii." "General?" "I expect you to recover any AGI-Ship left intact and send it to either Aldrin or Terra for deconstruction." "I will. Well, Mak will do." "As expected. Also, I'd like to see you in my office back at Mars. We've to discuss some guidelines for Terrans First Military Contractor." "Sir. Thank you Sir."

"Home is where the heart is."

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Post by RyuKazuha » Tue, 15. Jun 10, 00:43

[Chapter 07]
Monopoly

"The best of all monopoly profits is a quiet life."

Seven Days after the Battle of Aldrin, Jona sat in his Office at Pareii Protein and stared into the stars. He waited for Maks arrival, who had been send to sell almost every weapons in stock, save for a medium load out at the Kopesh and the two M/AM-Launchers aboard the Vidar, wich was now docked at the Torus.
At his computers screen, the list of assets he had assembled was shown, significantly shortened after selling most of the ships salvaged after the battle.

4x Scabbard TL (Xenophanes, Antiphon, Anaxarch and Heraklit)
3x Baldric Mk3-Trader (Anaxagoras, Anaximenes, Anaximander)
1x Mercury Super Freighter XL (Diogenes Laertios)
1x Discoverer Hauler (Aishylos)
1x N
1x M
1x L
1x #deca.fade
1x #deca.deaf
1x Advanced Discoverer
1x Enhanced Jaguar
1x Mani (Dionysos Areopagita)
1x Kopesh (Marcus Andronicus)
1x Verdandi Sentinel (Aristophanes)
1x Vidar (Thales of Milet)

1x Protein Paste Blending Facility M (Pareii Protein)

Twenty Ships scattered all over Terran Space - including Aldrin - one Station and, with all weapons and other salvaged cashed in, little more than sixteen Million Credits to spend.
Mak entered the room and took a seat at Jonas opposite. "Okay, why did we do that?" He asked. Nothing less than twenty five EMPCs just had changed owners. "To get started." Jona answered and typed something on the touchscreen embedded in his desk. A three dimensional projection of the Sol System appeared.
"Now that the most urgent problem in terms of AGI is solved, we don't need this amount of firepower anymore. We'll rebuy it in time, but for now it's better to have these eight point three million Credits cash, rather than weaponized."
Mak slowly nodded, not really able to follow his partner in his thoughts. "So what are we gonna do with this money?" he asked.
Jona activated the sector map of Saturn. "Until now the only profit we make from the vast oversupply of Energy is some Protein Paste. Nothing wrong with that, but we're cost-effective, with only a small profit. The margin made from the Station we Supply outmatches ours by far." Touching another control, the Ex-Goner made two more Stations appear at the projection. "Pareii Protein is scheduled to become part of Pareii Nutrients in about one Weak from today. We'll raise another Protein Blender, L-sized this time and a Food Supply Factory, L-sized as well." The sector map of Uranus opened. "Two L-sized Carbo Cake Factories and one large Food Preparation Facility." another change, to Asteroid Belt this time. "One L-sized Ice Mine on the 166yield Ice Roid, one large Water Purification Facility." Jona pointed at a second mine. "And the beginning of Pareii Mining. A large silicon mine on a 70 yield Asteroid."[Color]

Mak stared at the model. "Why...?" "Did I always build more supply then consumers? Because it's faster in the startup. Both will provide a steady flow from them beginning while slowly filling up. Once both are nearly full, I provide the second consumer and there'll be less downtimes. The supply factories don't trade with ships who don't belong to us and sell break-even to minimize the need to adjust the cash flow. Each resource factory will be given 200.000 Credits, it's 300.000 for the Food Facts." Jona switched into the internal setup of the factories. "Concerning the Resources, We'll stick to the free traders for energy supply. As you know supply is vast and buying prices are low, still we offer one Credit above average, allowing them to make a considerable and stable profit, without really damaging ours. The Food Factories get their own ships to haul resources and sell for the best available price. Minimum is one below average, to beat the orbital supplies."

Mak Jorman grinned. "You are... deviant." he said. Jona laughed. "Take that as a compliment. Any suggestions?" The other looked at the setup. "Don't rely on the free traders to much. Your offer is good, but they may just let us run dry to see if they can raise the price further." Jona glanced at the projection. "Okay. I'll think about that. But first we need a TL." "You want to go through that thing again?" Jona laughed, he understood the shock in Maks voice, since he used to rant about that one all the time. "No. I met some Miners, asked them how much money they make in a weak and promised them a million if they help me to put these stations in place." Mak's eyes widened. "One Million? To rent their ship? ONE FREAKIN' MILLION?!" "Yes. They should be here in no time."

To optimize the time needed to deploy the stations, Jona bought the Stations appointed to Uranus first and had them deployed there, assigning the Baldrics on the flight back. With Maks addition considered, Jona had to plan for 12 Baldrics, equipped accounting for ~4.8 Million. The second set of Stations deployed were those for the MRE Production in Saturn, third the Mines and Water Purification Plant for Asteroid Belt.
The time given for completing the set up was scheduled to three days, with deployment within one.

"How did you manage to get all these licenses?" Mak asked, while the last set of stations was loaded into the Base Ship. Jona stood at the Observation Deck, staring at Saturn's rings. "Military Contractor." he answered, before turning around and facing his friend. "It's a proposal made by General Ishiyama, following a common practice in the Commonwealth. A Corporation is granted exclusive rights within a Nations Territory, under the condition to supply the Nations Military whenever needed." "Means?" "We are allowed to purchase or build any station in any number. We are allowed to maintain our own fleet and supply lines, as long as we adi the Terrans in any upcoming conflict or war." Jona ended his explanation and went to a group of armchairs to sit down. "The profit in MRE-Productions is, what we're aiming at. C-Rations are a lot less profitable, but they'll keep our promise to supply the ATF." The men looked at his watch. "Once we're done here, I'll return to the Commonwealth and take some contracts there. We'll need money and resources to build our own fleet, and the bigger the game, the bigger the gain."
Mak sat down and leaned back. "And you want me to take care of our business here?" he asked, being answered with a nod. "I'll contact you, if I need you out there. But for the time being you stay here." "Wich of the ships?" "Marcus Andronicus. All other ships will remain here."

"Wealth is a good servant, a very bad mistress."


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Side note: It's a hell of a venture to get the mammoth from OL to Saturn (or Mars, for that matters), it doesn't like terran traffic, it doesn't like the OA's and it doesn't like to dock at the Terran Shipyard, so I decided to script a Mining Base Ship in and use it to deploy the factories. I'll deploy all the factories described here, then delete the ship and decrease my account by one million with Cycrow's Cheat Scripts. It's way more expensive than using the TL, but much less threatening my nerves.


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