Eye of the storm - DiD (TC 3.2) [KIA]

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Eye of the storm - DiD (TC 3.2) [KIA]

Post by Zaitsev » Thu, 12. Apr 12, 06:55

Creativity's slowly been making its way back into my brain, so I thought I'd try my hand on a DiD story. And I thought posting in Scion's thread was scary ...

I tried to take a slightly different approach, as I've played the game for four years and have done the "fight my way from nothing to galactic tycoon" to death.

It will most certainly contain spoilers, so you have been warned. Also, since english is my second language I'd appreciate it if you point out any grammatical and/or spelling errors you might come across.

Comments are of course much appreciated :)


Who am I?

My given name is Rahne* Kylara, daughter of Brent Kylara and Cerise Salek, but I have many names. Some used as blessings, other as curses. I am, or rather was, the heir to my father's freight business, but that was before the Xenon came along and killed him and my mother. I went off the radar after that and tried to hide as best I could, but now it seems someone is determined to flush me out into the open again.

Time to play the game …

"On your knees!" The man in front of me stuck his gun in my face, as did his three buddies. Not good. I had just entered the dock master's office to deliver a load of e-cells, and these four bozos were waiting for me.
"Hey, I ain't that late with those e-cells …?"
"On your knees, Angel!" Definitely not good. Especially since information about the Angel-teams were so secret only a handful of people knew about them and you needed maximum security clearance just to breathe in their general direction.
What angels, you say? Well, the Black Angels, as the brass chose to call us, was an Argon black ops team dealing with 'threats against Argon welfare and economy', or 'pirates, mercs and other scum' as we called it. We did the dirty jobs the government couldn't or wouldn't touch, and kept the Argon space lanes relatively safe. But I digress.

"Are you deaf, girl? On! Your! Knees!" No, I wasn't deaf. Just contemplating how to deal with you suckers with the least amount of trouble.
"Watch it, Warron. She's more dangerous than you could ever imagine." The man holding his gun against my face snorted. Heh. Men. He was right, though. Thanks to the Angel project my bones had been laced with carbon nanotubes, making them five times stronger than human bone, and I had three times the average amount of nanites in my body, giving me increased strength, reflexes and healing. A dead soldier was no good to anyone, so they made us as durable as possible before they let us loose on the pirate clans. However, even an Angel couldn't survive a repeater discharge at point blank range.
"Down, bitch! Now!" One of them kicked my leg, forcing me down on one knee. One of the others started patting me down, as if he was looking for something.
"Good. Now the other one." I pretended to obey for a second before I swiped the barrel aside with my left hand and hit him in the groin with my right. He doubled over, and I introduced his face to my elbow on the way down. I was on my feet and diving for cover before the rest of them knew what was going on. They opened fire, and I felt a sharp sting in my side as one of them grazed my ribs with his repeater. Bloody hell.

Taking cover behind the desk I pulled the phase pistol I always had strapped to my leg as their repeaters blew chunks of the aforementioned desk all over the place.
"Motherfrakkin' hell!" The repeater hit just centimeters from my head, spraying chips of fake wood over my cheek and shoulder. I got my feet underneath me and took a couple of breaths. If I screwed this up I would be dead.

I got up and lunged to the left, sending a hailstorm of phase fire their way. Judging from the screaming I hit something, and it sounded like it didn't feel too good. I halfway crashed into a cabinet as I landed, and my already wounded ribs weren't too happy about it. I muttered some rather salty curses as I rolled over and crouched down.

Now, I still had a problem. There was one of them left, and his repeater was ripping the world apart around me. Also, my ribs hurt enough to make me see white sparks and on top of that the power pack in my phase pistol was almost depleted. I only had a couple of shots left before I was out, so I'd better make them count.

Fate, it seems, is not without a somewhat wicked sense of humor. A clerk walked in just as those repeater shots were getting uncomfortably close.
"Hey, boss. Where do you w …" The sentence was cut short by the sickening sound of human flesh being torn apart. I took my chance and gave him my two last shots.
"Frak!" Ablative armor, hidden under his clothes, and now my pistol was empty. Time to get up close and personal then.

By the time this amateur was done with the clerk I was already on my feet and threw my pistol in his face, breaking his nose and making him lose his aim. I followed up with an elbow to the jaw, snapping his head to one side and stretching his neck muscles to their breaking point, then grabbed him by the shoulders and gave him a knee to the face. He fell to the ground, making strange, gargling sounds and he was obviously having trouble breathing. I took a repeater and shot anyone still having a heartbeat just to be sure, then I started looking around. Stars, what a mess.

I heard the sound of running feet down the hall, so I got the hell out and headed back to my ship. I had a feeling who ever was coming wasn't going to let me explain, and I wasn't in the mood to explain either.

"Take off! NOW!" I yelled as I practically dove through the airlock.
"What?" Tracie Stone, my co-pilot, navigator, part time communications officer and the ship's jack-of-all-trades gave me a confused look.
"It was a god damn trap!" I snapped. "Now move!"
"Captain, you're hurt." Marissa Cornell, one of my marines, looked at the bloodstained singlet and wrinkled her nose.
"Oh … crap. Captain, hostiles inbound!"
"Tracie, fire the jump drive. Get us out of here."
"Emergency jump aye. Jump device charging at ten percent … Twenty …"
A piercing klaxon warned us about incoming missiles.
"… forty. Fifty percent. Sixty."
"Brace for impact!"
"Seventy. Eighty."
The whole ship shook violently, the light flickered and sparks started flying.
"Shields are down. That was a big one!"
"Taking enemy fire. Hull integrity at seventy four percent and dropping fast!"
"Jumping now!"
A brilliant flash, like the light of a thousand suns, filled the bridge. The ship shook again, knocking me off my feet. Then the world suddenly went dark.
*: Pronounced "Rain."
Last edited by Zaitsev on Sun, 2. Sep 12, 22:29, edited 4 times in total.
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am :D

Eye of the storm Completed
Eye of the storm - book 2 Inactive
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Post by Zaitsev » Thu, 12. Apr 12, 07:36

Mods, rules and information

I use quite a few mods, partially to boost performance but also to add to the immersion and give my game a bit of personal flavour. So if you're looking for a "clean" game you won't find it here.

List of mods and scripts I use:

No complex tubes
CMOD 4.14
Aldrin Asteroid Pack - roid 4
X-tra ship pack
AI Ammo Cheat
Anarkis Defense System
Missile Supply
Missile defense mk2
Pirate Guild
X-tra jobs unleashed w/Civilians
Yaki Armada
Advanced Hyperdrive
Equipment RnD
Improved Boarding
Improved races
Marine repairs
Drone carrier
Bonus pack
Asgard O'Neill
HKP Enhanced Missile Barrage
Visible ranks for pirate and yaki

Cheat package is used to set up starting conditions, then disabled.

CODEA and assoicated scripts might be added if I find a way to use it without having to deal with the Argons.



Conditional DiD - Excluding gate crashes, autopillok stupidity and bugs/glitches I might encounter. I may also reload from a previous save if I run into any plot bugs.

Can only use repair laser on fighters, TP and TS. Anything else will have to be repaired by marines or at a shipyard.

Only military ships, that is TM, M6, M8, M7, M2 and M1 may use the P2P jump drive, and only M7, M2 and M1 may use energy-free P2P jumps. All others have to use e-cells to fuel the jump drive.

No Argon ships in the fleet, unless captured or bought second hand.

Be as self sufficient as possible when it comes to weapons, shields, missiles and equipment.

Infrastructure for the fleet, i.e. weapon-, shield-, and missile production, is restricted to unknown and pirate sectors only. Rahne is supposed to be a respectable businesswoman, so no "public" arms dealing. Excess production may be sold off to the Teladi.

Argon rep can be raised to complete certain plots and get certain stations that only the Argons have, but after that it's all out war.

The O'Neill in the unknown sector needs extensive repairs to become operational and can not be used or moved from the sector for at least seven ingame days. Rahne also need to build a shipyard and a space equipment dock to conduct the research necessary to repair it. The ship is unique and can not be reverse engineered, and if it's destroyed I can not get another one.


Misc. information

Game: X3: TC v3.2
Start: Anonymous Argon, modified via cheat script.

Starting assets:
M6 Drake - "Nomad" w/5 marines
M3 Cougar Vanguard - "Sunstorm"

0 credits.
Last edited by Zaitsev on Fri, 13. Apr 12, 03:53, edited 2 times in total.
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am :D

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Post by Scion Drakhar » Thu, 12. Apr 12, 09:56

Nice! I always wanted to see what you'd do on your own. Be sure to include lots of screenshots so everybody can see what Cadius' ships look like. I for one am definitely awaiting MOAR!
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Post by Zaitsev » Fri, 13. Apr 12, 03:44

Scion Drakhar wrote:Nice! I always wanted to see what you'd do on your own. Be sure to include lots of screenshots so everybody can see what Cadius' ships look like. I for one am definitely awaiting MOAR!
I'm generally poor at taking screenshots other than to keep track of missions and where I am at the moment, but I'll try to take a few extra just for you ;)

Thanks for the encouragement by the way :)

Footnote: The time stamp is the time when the log was recorded, generally as the chapter ends. Just in case someone wondered (and how Scion managed to pack an entire day into just one chapter I'll never know).

And for my next trick, an update.


Chapter 1 – Legacy of the stars.

Personal log – 768-05-01 – 02:05

I regained consciousness just as Marissa finished patching up the wound on my left side.
"Just a little bump, capt'n. You'll be fine." She hesitated for a moment. "What happened in there?" I noticed the patch she had put on my forehead as I sat up, trying to keep the world from spinning too much.

"I'll tell you later. How are we doing?" I asked as I slowly got to my feet.
"Hull integrity dipped down to fifty three percent before we jumped." It was Gunnery Sergeant Jo Pareii, leader of my marine crew and also a crack engineer. "Thrusters are down to fifty percent of nominal power and the reactor was a little wobbly for a while, but we got it under control. The navcom and the jump drive are both fried, we lost two of our shield generators and we're leaking atmosphere and drive plasma like a sieve. Not to mention that the mainframe is royally screwed, we lost our right turret and the main weapons, and we have blown fuses and burnt power couplings all over the place. The rest of the crew is downstairs to get the ETM converter going and plug the leaks while the emergency containment fields are still holding. Other than that we're doing surprisingly well considering the beating we just took … Hold on." She hesitated for a moment. "We've got casualties, captain. Mikal just reported that we got a major hull breach in the engineering compartment. Jako and Endy … They're gone." I looked down at the deck and took a deep breath, trying to keep the tears in check.
"Any good news?" I asked quietly.
"Aron reports that the Sunstorm is still in one piece. Some minor hull damage, a couple of burnt power couplings and the surge from that last hit corrupted all the star charts. It'll have to be wiped and rebooted, other than that it's still operational."

The Sunstorm was a Cougar Vanguard that had been given to us when we did a job for a Split patriarch from one of the smaller families. Turned out his family had designed the Cougar fighter, and since we managed to return his stolen Jatra and thus save him from total disgrace he insisted that we take the first fighter that had rolled off the assembly line. Personally I thought it was a bit too much to give us a fighter for that job, but I knew better than to turn down a Split offering a reward. They had the nasty habit of taking 'no' as a personal insult, and insulting a Split can get real ugly real quick.
Anyway, we armed it, tuned it and equipped it as a combination of fighter, explorer, part time taxi and roid scanner. It was a bit slow for taxi and roid scanning, but with the help of the jump drive we usually managed it anyway. A mission for an overworked prospector or a business man, woman, lar or whichever of the eleven genders of the Paranid who needed to be places yesterday could easily net us half a million or more, so it was good business. The jump drive had even survived, but since the last hit had either cooked or spaced all our e-cells it wouldn't do much good.

"Alright," I said. "Since the rest are busy keeping us from sucking hard vacuum I guess that leave the bridge up to us. Let's hope those spare chips and power couplings didn't get spaced along with our e-cells." So while the crackling of repair lasers filled the air Tracie, Jo and me started yanking out all the burnt stuff and replacing it with fresh parts. It took a good one and a half hour, but eventually the bridge was back to something resembling working order.

"There," I mumbled to myself as I slid the last power coupling into place. Then I looked up at Tracie, who was tinkering around underneath the control console.
"How are you doing?" I asked.
"As good as expected, given the … Nnh … circumstances," she said as she crawled back out. "Now, let's see …"
She got to her feet and flicked the main power switch. I was halfway expecting the whole thing to explode, but it didn't. One small victory for us. Instead the control console lit up and she typed in a couple of commands, reactivating the holographic interface and allowing us to see outside.
"Yay, it works." she exclaimed. I just smiled. The girl had a talent for fixing things with whatever she had available, and that was why I had hired her in the first place.

She stared outside for a moment, then she got a puzzled look on her face.
"Where are we, anyway? We were supposed to jump to Split Fire, but this sure as hell ain't Split Fire." The sector was foggy and littered with roids, and there was a dark planet ahead.
"Beats me," I said. "Let's check the gate ID."


Tracie typed in a few commands on the console, then got a worried expression on her face.
"This can't be right …" she mumbled. "Xenon sector 534? But that's north of Getsu Fune. We couldn't possibly have made it with the e-cells we had on board, unless that last missile somehow overloaded …" Her voice died mid sentence, and I could see the cogs turning in her head. I was more worried about the 'Xenon sector' part, so I decided to move us in sector and hide as best we could while we figured out what to do. Getting ass-rammed by a Q wasn't on my 'to do'-list today.


We hadn't flown far before the scanner alarm went off.
"We're being scanned, captain." Tracie said.
"What?" I immediately thought of the Xenon, and in our condition we'd have a hard time beating anything bigger than a couple of Ls.
"Hold on a sec … There. Unknown contact …? The IFF says 'Lux Aeterna', but the configuration is completely unknown. The computer has classified it as a destroyer, though." I raised my eyebrows. The computer knew every ship in the Commonwealth and even most of the Terran ones. There was no such thing as 'unknown'.
"Hm …" She fiddled with the sensor controls. "Grav scans indicate a large ship. According to the mass shadow it's almost twenty five percent heavier than a Titan, and the energy signature is massive. It has sustained significant damage, though. Our computer estimate it has about fifty eight percent of nominal hull integrity left and the shields are fluctuating, indicating some damage to the shield generators. No weapons lock or missiles detected."

Okay, I'll admit it. I got curious and flew closer. At first it was just a blip on our scanners, then the murk slowly let go and revealed a truly odd ship. It reminded me of a hammer or some kind of archaic weapon, covered in chrome.
"New contacts," Tracie said. "Elephant, bearing 034 by 025. Distance, 10 clicks. It has some scratches and its shields are gone, but otherwise seem to be relatively unharmed. I'm also picking up a Falcon … Sentinel? Bearing 324 by 396, distance 24 clicks." I think my eyebrows would have ended up on the back of my neck if this kept up. This sector just seemed to be full of surprises.
"Never heard of a Falcon Sentinel before," Tracie said to everyone and no one. I smiled. It was a rare bird indeed.
"Not many have, outside the fleet. The Sentinel was an attempt by the Teladi to make a more durable heavy strike fighter, so they took an ordinary Falcon and stuffed it with four hundred megajoule of shielding. However, with the Teladi being the Teladi they skimped out on the engine to keep the cost down, so it's slow as snails. And when even frigates can run you down, four hundred megajoule isn't going to last that long."
"Figures. Green cheapskates."
"At least you know what you get," I said. She snorted a laugh.
"By the way, any signs of life on board any of those ships?" I said.
"Scanners show nothing. They're all deserted."
I immediately thought about capturing them. The Elephant and the Falcon alone would be worth millions if we sold them. I wasn't so sure about our shiny friend, though. My gut feeling told me to keep it a secret, at least until we could take a closer look.

As I contemplated about what I should do about our new catch I heard the sound of feet against deck plating from below and the voices of my marines.
"… you did not!?" The first voice belonged to Val Rider, a thin, wiry man from Elena's Fortune and one of the best hackers around.
"Yeah, I did. Looked him straight in the eye and told 'im I'd whoop his ass if he didn't back off." The second voice belonged to Mikal Slamer. He was a loudmouth and somewhat of a joker, but he could shoot the wings off a space fly at fifty paces and whoop your ass with one hand behind his back.
"Bah. You're just running your mouth again, Mikal." That was Aron Seldon, demolitions and mechanics expert. "Like that time when you told us about the swamp rat hunt on Ianamus Zura. Turned out you'd never been on Ianamus Zura."
"I've been in the sector," Mikal countered.
"Yeah, but that's like saying you've fought a Split when you tripped over your own feet and hit his fist with your face on the way down." Val shot in.
"Come on," Mikal continued. "I … Holy Gunne's bollocks!" He stopped dead in his tracks as he entered the bridge, staring at the chrome-clad ship that now filled the entire view-screen.
I'll admit I had a hard time keeping a straight face. There aren't many things that can throw Mikal off his game, but this was apparently one of them.
"I didn't know you had intimate knowledge about such things," Aron remarked dryly, and I heard someone stifle a laugh.
"I don't know about you, but I'm kind of curious," I said. "Who's up for a little exploration?" It might get my mind off the fact that the Nomad was stranded here, if nothing else.


Five minutes later me and my marines beamed aboard the Elephant. Yeah, minutes. My father was old school and since the stellar day on Argon Prime was almost identical to the old Terran solar units I grew up with seconds, minutes and hours instead of sezura, mizura and stazura. I can work with both, though. But I digress. Again.

"Cap'n, we got core access." Aron said over the comlink. "The last log entry was recorded 767-23-03 and it states that the ship ended up here due to a gate malfunction. It also mention … uhm … Kvivar datai … something."
"Ch'vivar D'Tai. It means 'shining spear'." You don't tag along on a freelance trader for eighteen years without picking up some Split language. Either that or you would get challenged all the time because you inadvertently insulted someone. I found out pretty quick that even Split kids were into that whole honor thing.

"Whatever. It mention that our shiny friend over there was already here when they got here. Same thing, they got scanned and then nothing more. They boarded it and decoded some of the logs, but it was written in a language unknown to them. They did manage to establish that the ship had been here for some eighteen jazura though, based on astronomical data in the logs." Almost twenty five years? Could it be …? Naaah …

"The ship was heavily damaged and there were humanoid remains all over the place. According to the logs they searched the ship for spare parts, but were unable to find anything useful. Since the Elephant was disabled and they couldn't get out they chose Dai'Chanda." Ritual suicide. Death before dishonor. Crazy Split bastards …
"Anything else of interest?" I asked.
"No, the log ends there." I thought about it for a second.
"Alright, let's take a look at the other one, shall we?" I waited a moment for everyone to get into position. "Tracie, you can push the button now." I had left her aboard the Nomad, ready to beam us out at the slightest hint of trouble. Knowing her, she had probably spent the whole time listening to the conversation with her eyes glued to the sensors and her hand on the transporter controls. I felt the slight tingling as the transporter locked on, then a blue shimmer filled my field of vision and moments later I was standing on the transporter pad aboard the Nomad with my marines.

Another transporter trip, and we were standing in a large room with white walls lit by pale blue lights. There were consoles scattered around and a row of windows or view-screens, I couldn't tell which, filled one side. My guess was that we had entered the bridge, but what caught my attention was the human skeletons sitting in the chairs and leaning against the walls. One of them caught my attention and I walked over. He, or she, had obviously been here for a long time, and all that was left was a dried up husk with a lipless smile and black, empty eye sockets staring into nothingness. A piece of metal glinted in between the rags that had once been clothes. I fished it out and looked at it. Dog tags? In english nonetheless.


What the …? If I remembered correctly, "US" was a designation for the old Terran United States, from before the globalization. But that was several hundred years ago, according to what little had seeped through to the Net. And I had never heard of a branch called "SGC", although the Terrans did keep a tight lid on their operations. The numbers didn't make sense either, cause if they followed Terran military standard this fella would have been over nine hundred years old. Ah, frak if I knew.

"Cap'n, take a look at this." Val waved me over to a console he had been working on. "What do you make of this?" he said as I walked over, pointing at a screen he had somehow activated.
"Hm," I said. "It's old Terran english."
"Can you read it?"
"Most of it. Let's see … It seems to be some sort of log file." I twisted my brain as I tried to remember the meaning of the words in front of me. "I'm not one hundred percent sure, but if I'm not too far off it describes a battle between this ship and something called the kini'je. The ship was outnumbered and had to pull back, so they activated the … hm ... hyperdrive and headed for home. They had just entered hyperspace when they ran into … uhm … some sort of … spatial anomaly and ended up here. The ship had taken significant structural damage, the propulsion system was disabled, there were apparently fires raging all over the place and the anomaly had knocked out two of their shield generators. In the end they vented the entire ship with the exception of the command bridge to prevent the fires from spreading to their reactors, but they were unable to restore the atmosphere and slowly suffocated as the bridge life support wasn't meant to support that many."
I got some very nasty mental images from reading that. The thought of being locked up with a bunch of other people, knowing that the simple act of breathing is slowly poisoning you and your shipmates wasn't a pleasant one to say the least. Our instruments showed that the air was fully breathable now, so I figured the ship's systems had reset them selves in the meantime. I looked at the dried up bones surrounding me and shuddered.

"Stars," Marissa said, putting words to my thoughts as she knelt down beside another dried up husk. "What a way to go."
I knew exactly how she felt. I had seen my share of boarding ops myself, and you live and breathe the fear every time you go through that hatch, enter that pod or in our case, step on to the transporter pad and hope the computer doesn't screw up and atomize your ass. Knowing that you're separated from hard vacuum only by a quarter of an inch of advanced polymers, ceramic composite plating protecting vital areas and, if you're lucky, a shield that never seem to last long enough. That the next breath you take can be your last. That you risked dying listening to your own blood boil in your veins. Feeling your lungs freeze and your eyes bulge from the internal pressure in your body while you gasped for a breath you'd never take. Brr. That kind of feeling.
"Let's wrap up and head back," I said. "We need to figure out how to get out of here and what to do with these hunks of junk." I got Tracie on the horn and a few moments later we were all safely aboard the Nomad. I cracked open my helmet and headed for the bridge.

"All right, people. Gather 'round." I took a breath and looked at them. Six pair of eyes looked back at me. "I've been thinking about what to do next," I said. "Right now we're flying blind and the only thing we know for sure is that someone ambushed us, so I'd say information is first priority. The Nomad is in no shape to cross the Xenon sector the gate ID say is on the other side of that gate over there, and even if she was in ship shape we could still end up in a whole lot of trouble. My suggestion is that one of us take the Sunstorm through the sector, locate the gate to Getsu Fune and snoop around a bit to find out what happened, and maybe find some friendlies. We also need to find an extra jump drive and replace some fried circuits."
I paused for a moment.
"The catch is that the rest will have to hole up here, twiddle their thumbs and hope that the Xenon doesn't come through that gate in force. Since the Elephant and our shiny friend is still here the chance seems to be slim, but the risk is still there. However, that's the best I got so if anyone else have any better ideas I'm all ears."


"Guess that settles it, then." I rose to my feet and looked at Tracie. "Should you do the honors or should I?" She wrinkled her nose.
"I think I'll stick to peaceful flying, if you don't mind. You're the combat pilot around here." Yeah, and look how far that had gotten us. I glanced at Gunny.
"How long can you keep her together?" She gave me a reassuring smile.
"As long as we have to, captain. If it gets too bad we can always beam over to the Elephant." I gave her a nod.
"Alright." Then I looked at Tracie. "C'mon," I said. "I'm gonna need a hand with the Sunstorm."

Half an hour later I was upside down under the navigation console on the Sunstorm, carefully fishing the IFF core out of its slot. The attack had triggered my professional paranoia, so I had decided to hack the IFF core and change the ship's ID just in case. Now I just had to put these four wires in the right place and …
"I've got it," Tracie said from behind the seat. She was handling the data pad and making sure nothing went wrong. "What do you want to call this bird?"
"Morrigan. According to ancient Terran mythology it was a deity of war, from the old Terran state known as Ireland." I couldn't see her, but I knew she was glaring at the back of the pilot's seat with that same odd look she used to give me when I pulled some useless, archaic knowledge out of the hat.
"Whatever. The core is recompiled and I have green lights across the board. Anything else you want to add while we're at it?"
"Yeah," I said as I shifted around a bit to find a more comfortable position. "Set the owner to Judith Ukada."
"Is that contagious?"
"Funny. It's an undercover identity I created while I was in the fleet, just in case I might need it. Anyone without at least omega 1-level security clearance will get a nice, innocent story about an Argon everywoman who got fed up with sitting on her ass planetside and decided to head for space to seek fortune and glory. I spent almost two years creating her, and made the history as airtight as possible. Guess it's time to find out if I did a good job or not."
"You really are a crazy bastard, captain." I heard a hint of teasing in her voice and smiled to myself.
"I do my very best," I quipped. "It's what keeps me alive. Now, let's wrap this up and get moving."

Another ten minutes and I was strapping myself in behind the stick of the Su … Morrigan, going through the pre-flight check list. Reactor ok, engines in the green, navcom, controls and AI okey … Let's roll.
The engine made the whole ship vibrate. Then the docking clamps let go, and a moment later I was flying toward the gate at 205 m/s.
"Wish me luck," I said as I approached the gate.
"Luck, 'Judith'. Let's hope you get some." Tracie replied from the Nomad. The teasing edge in her voice made me snicker as I flew toward the event horizon. Then I was in the wormhole.


M6 Drake - "Nomad"
M3 Cougar Vanguard - "Morrigan"
TL Elephant - {unnamed}
M2 Asgard O'Neill - "SGC-028 'Lux Aeterna'"

0 credits
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am :D

Eye of the storm Completed
Eye of the storm - book 2 Inactive
Black Sun - Completed
Endgame - Completed

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Post by Zaitsev » Mon, 16. Apr 12, 15:34

Hm. Did I blow you all away with my awesome story or is it so bad you all ran away or fell asleep before you got the chance to reply? Ah, what the heck. The view count keeps increasing so I'm going to keep at it.

Time for chapter three, then.

PS: I'm a little short on time right now, so I'll add pictures when I get home from work. In the meantime, enjoy :)

Edit: Pictures added.


Chapter 2 – Wings of steel

Personal log – 768-05-01 – 02:58

X534. A roid to the right, a planet looming behind that and a whole lot of nothing. I took a few breaths and tried to relax. Memories churned in my head, of that dreadful day a little over a year ago, when … when the Xenon killed my parents. In my mind I was back in the Solano I flew that day, chatting with my father in his Mercury freighter as we flew to visit my mother. We had just arrived in the sector where my mother was working on her research when I noticed something strange. The sector patrols were all gone. The Titan stationed there and the frigate escorts were all gone.


I remembered the bone chilling feeling it gave me, and I got this overwhelming feeling that something was oh so very wrong. Then the west gate activated and a motherfrakkin' Xenon battle group came through. A carrier, a destroyer and a handful of frigates, all making a beeline for the research station where my mother worked. A few moments later the carrier's fighter complement swarmed out like locusts and attacked everything that moved. PBE wielding chips hammered my shields down into their fifties before I reacted. Three years of combat experience took over, and I took down two of them before they knew what happened. It didn't do much good, as there were just too many of them. It was one against sixty plus a bunch of capital ships, a fight I couldn't possibly win.

In the end my father ordered me to get out and save myself. I knew he was right, but I didn't want to leave him behind and I didn't want to leave my mom behind either. He ensured me he would follow as soon as possible, but the Xenon were already eating into his hull and I knew he was lying. Chocking on my tears I told him to say hi to mom for me and activated the jump drive, heading for the next sector and safety. When the rescue patrol moved in a few hours later nothing remained. The Xenon had decimated the entire sector, and the biggest piece they found could fit in a shoe box.

To say I lost it would be sort of an understatement, and I was given a choice three months later; Early retirement or discharge due to psychological issues. So I had the 'choice' between leaving the fleet I loved nice and easy, or get kicked out. To add insult to injury the Argon government seized my father's company due to 'inconsistencies' they had found, and when they finally let go there was nothing left. I decided to scrounge up whatever I had left and drop off the radar, so I bought the Nomad along with my crew and basically disappeared.

The memories made me shudder. Then I forced myself to continue. The lives of my friends depended on me, and I wasn't about to lose them as well.


I followed my gut feeling and headed for the planet, briefly wondering if we could have gotten the Nomad across anyway. In the end I'm glad I didn't try that as I soon got company from a M. Then a N showed up, accompanied by another M and a Q. I felt my trigger finger itch and the hatred boil in my blood, but I knew I couldn't fight a Q without missiles so I flew on instead. Lucky for me, the Ms couldn't keep up and the N flew off in another direction. A few moments later the southern gate appeared, and I was home free.


When I came through the gate in Getsu Fune I halfway expected the Xenon to follow me, so I turned toward the wormhole and waited with my finger on the trigger. Nothing came through, so I turned away and started mapping the sector instead. As I flew away I let loose some search agents on the Net, programmed to look for anything suspicious.


Hm. A mission? For some Argon desk jockey. Uh. 'Hold position.' Apparently they had detected 'an unusual build-up of Xenon ships' and were looking for pilots to help defend the sector. Ya, right. Judging from what I had on the grav I had the only combat worthy ship within thirty clicks, which could make this very interesting. However, I got the chance to bash some chips and get paid at the same time so I happily accepted and headed for the north gate at full speed.

It turned out the unusual build-up consisted of a single N. Dang, what an overwhelming force. A couple of bursts from my HEPTs sent it to chip heaven, leaving a dust cloud and a Rapier missile behind. I scooped it up and hovered around the gate for a minute, just in case that desk jockey had missed something, but it looked like that was it. 675 credits and I was now officially a Nuisance. And an Argon Federation Member. Woho! At least I could sell the Rapier and more or less triple that amount. Off to the nearest equipment dock then.


What the … A message from the Argon government? Hm. Apparently they were looking for pilots 'of all races' to 'do their Commonwealth duty in aiding in the transition and integration of the Terrans into our great Commonwealth community.'
Ya, right. More likely they were looking for scapegoats so they didn't have to take the heat if something went wrong. I knew the Argons, they weren't nowhere near as squeaky clean as they wanted people to think they were. Pompous idiots. And people said the Terrans were bad?



A message from my agents? Already? I decided to dock and get rid of the Rapier first, and read afterwards.

"Excuse me?" The little lizard was standing among a load of missiles and obviously hadn't noticed me. Man, I've never seen a creature jump that high.
"Gunne'sss nutsss, woman. Don't ssscare me like that."
"Sorry." I gave her my most apologetic smile. "You the weapons dealer?"
"No, I'm jussst ssstanding here among a few gigajoule of ordnanssse for the fun of it." Quite the joker, are we? "What can I do for you?"
"I've got a misss … eh, missile I'd like to sell." Dang, these lizards were starting to get to me. "A Rapier I picked up on my way here."
"Sssertainly. Eight hundred creditsss?" Yeah, that was below minimum price. Greedy bastard.
"Funny. Try eighteen hundred instead." She looked like I had slapped her.
"Nine hundred creditsss." Still below minimum price.
"Y'know, I saw a Split equipment dock a little further south and I know they pay premium price for anything that goes boom. Seventeen hundred." Her expression changed to something I imagine you would expect if you had put her tail in a vice and tightened it.
"No way. Eleven hundred creditsss. That'sss my final offer!"
"Did I hear thirteen hundred?" This time she looked like I was trying to cut her tail off. With a spoon.
"Okey, okey. Thirteen hundred it isss. Now, where's the misssile?"
"Outside. You'll get it after you've paid me." Again this painful expression. Almost like I'd been torturing her or something. In a way I did, going after her precious credits, but I knew she could probably sell it for twice that on the black market. Always some pirate or merc who was looking for weapons and didn't have the time or desire to go through proper channels. She walked over to her counter and pushed a few buttons, and a few moments later I was 1348 credits richer. Good lizard.
"You drive a hard bargain, human," the little one said as I was about to leave. "Almossst asss if you had Teladi blood in your veinsss." Coming from a Teladi that was quite the compliment.
"My father was a trader," I said as I opened the door. "I guess it is in my blood, Teladi or not."

A couple of minutes later I was back behind the stick of the Morrigan again, reading through what my agents had found for me on the Net.

"Oh … Frak."

I stared at the screen for a long time. Then I screamed until my voice died. Headlines like 'War hero gone crazy', 'Five men dead' and 'Mercenary goes on killing spree'. They essentially told the same story, that I had gone mad and killed a clerk and four police officers who were on the quantum tube fab to ask some routine questions, and then had escaped the authorities in a Split ship. Video, probably from a surveillance camera or a camera drone, showed me shooting the four men and some clever editing made it look like I shot the clerk too.
I leaned back and banged my head against the headrest, cursing everything from here to the end of the universe. Tears rolled down my cheeks and it felt like a black hole had opened up inside my chest and was eating up me from the inside. The feeling of despair threatened to shatter my mind, and the black hole in my chest would swallow the remains. I cracked open my helmet, curled up and cried.

At last I had no more tears left in me, and two words materialized out of the haze in my mind. 'Who?' and 'Why?'. Slowly my brain returned to something resembling working order, and I started thinking. I was pretty sure the memory crystal in my pocket answered the 'why'-part, so all that remained was 'who'. The crystal had been given to me by a man in Power Circle, who claimed he knew my brother and had been asked to give the crystal to me. It contained a message from my brother, who I hadn't seen in almost two years, and a recording that, if true, was quite disturbing. It implied that someone in the Argon government was working with unknown third parties that were meddling with Terraformer technology. It also implied that my mother's research threatened to expose them and that the sector patrols had been deliberately withdrawn to ensure that the Xenon would destroy any and all evidence against them. And now they were coming for me and my crew.

Slowly the despair slipped from my mind and gave way to cold, quiet anger. If they wanted to play games … Well, I could play games too. There's a military axiom that says if a human is pushed to the limit in combat the mind will revert to its lowest and most basic form of reaction. This was something I had been trained to do. A weapon that had been forged in the blackest pits of the Argon military and hardened through countless battles. Resolve mixed with the anger, and one word was born from it.


Now I needed a plan. Going up against the Argon, a corvette and a Cougar Vanguard just wouldn't cut it. Argon Prime had patrols up the wazoo, and if I as much as sneezed in the wrong direction I estimated I might last a full ten seconds before they turned me to space dust. I could of course take the official route, but it was a badly hidden secret that I had been given the choice between early retirement and discharge due to psychological issues. In other words, as far as the brass knew I was a crackpot and if I tried anything they could easily dismiss it as mindless rambling. 'Look, this nutter think I killed her parents. Ha. Ha. Ha!' I would probably be the laughing stock of the entire planet. Frak.

Okey, deep breath. Relax. Clear your mind.

First thing I needed was more information. I could hear the slightly nasal voice of my tactics instructor at the fleet academy echoing in my mind. 'Information, cadet Kylara. Information is the key to winning every battle out there. Know your enemy and know yourself, and you will win every battle. Know his plans before he do. Deceive, play his mind, find his weak spots and then … strike. Without information, how can you even distinguish friend from foe? Is it the one in front or the one behind you? You simply don't know, unless you make it your task to know.' Now I knew the true meaning of those words. These … players. They had gathered information. They had planned. They had struck when the time was right, when I had my guard down, and forced a reaction they could then exploit to either flush me out or get me killed.

Second thing, money. Missions did provide some income, but right now it was sorely limited. Besides, if I was going to take on Argon Prime I would probably need an entire fleet, not to mention that I would need the infrastructure to back it up. A fleet needed weapons, shields, missiles, equipment, ideally a shipyard that wasn't hostile and a crew to run the whole bloody thing. And all these men and women sure as hell wouldn't work for free.
Guess I would have to bite the bullet and get into trading again. I knew a few good spots, and even a couple of remotely operated traders could make a decent amount of money in relatively short time. A few stations scattered around would also help, and could even be used to support my cover as an adventurer and respectable business woman. The idea sounded surprisingly tempting, so I set a short term goal to get a few traders going, then save up for a station and the freighters necessary to support it. That meant the Elephant would come in handy too, even if it needed some repairs and a refit before I could use it.

I might even find use for our shiny friend, if I could find a way to repair it. I couldn't just stroll into the nearest shipyard and say 'hey, I found this incredibly advanced alien craft floating around here. Can you fix it?' It would probably be confiscated by the military before I could say 'Hammerhead missile' and then I would never see it again. Or worse, it could trigger a full scale war if the other races found out somebody had stumbled upon advanced alien technology. The Split would probably use it to beat the shit out of everything and everyone, the Teladi would patent the technology and sell it for a ridiculously high price, the Argon would turn it into a 'peacekeeper', the Boron would probably bury it and the 'Nids would study it for years to come. Or just declare it as unholy and blow it to pieces.

The thought of a fleet led me to my third point, infrastructure. If I was going to war I would need to be as independent as possible, which meant building a base of operations somewhere. I couldn't just put the whole thing on hold because I needed more guns or had run out of missiles.Besides, the Argon brass was more than likely to throw spanners in my wheels by cutting off whatever resources they could. That unknown sector might do as a base, but I had to scan the roids there first, to see if they were able to support the kind of industry I would need or if they were just worthless low yield rocks.

And number four … Bleh. Kissing up to everyone, even the frakkin' Argon. Higher rank meant that information was more easily accessible, and after all I needed to find this … puppet master before I could go medieval on his ass. I had to do it, but as soon as I had some solid intel I was going to start kicking down some doors.

Alright, I had a goal and a plan. Well, sort of. I jotted down a short message to the Nomad telling them something had come up and thrown some spanners in my wheels, but that things were going forward nonetheless and that they shouldn't worry.
"At least not yet," I thought as I hit the 'send'-button. There would be more than enough to worry about later.

Now I needed to get the frak out of this sector, cause it had suddenly started to stink.


M6 Drake - "Nomad"
M3 Cougar Vanguard - "Morrigan"
TL Elephant - {unnamed}
M2 Asgard O'Neill - "SGC-028 'Lux Aeterna'"

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Post by Triaxx2 » Tue, 17. Apr 12, 16:53

You can use the Personnel Transporter that goes along with CODEA to turn Marines into the various personnel necessary for CODEA. And CODEA ships can hire their pilots from anyone's Military Outposts.
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Post by Zaitsev » Tue, 17. Apr 12, 23:16

Triaxx2 wrote:You can use the Personnel Transporter that goes along with CODEA to turn Marines into the various personnel necessary for CODEA. And CODEA ships can hire their pilots from anyone's Military Outposts.
Great, I'll look into it then. If I survive long enough to get hold of a carrier, that is. Anyway, thanks for the info :)
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Post by Triaxx2 » Wed, 18. Apr 12, 15:00

Even the Elephant can do it. And it would probably be worth it just to put a couple of Cargo Salvage birds in the air after a fight for you.

I'll also add this to the DID list.
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Post by Zaitsev » Sat, 21. Apr 12, 04:55

Triaxx2 wrote:I'll also add this to the DID list.
Wohoo! Frak me, I'm famous :D Uhm, yeah ... Note to self, check if the local waterhole puts funny things in their water. The biggest thing I've faced so far is a couple of Ns, but I might hook the Elephant up with a couple of Falcon Haulers once I start getting more action. In the meantime, another update :)


Chapter 3 – With a thousand lies and a good disguise …

Personal log – 768-05-01 – 04:20

I decided to try and find some old hunting grounds. More specifically PTNI Headquarters and the sectors known as Pirate Alley. They had some very nice trading opportunities in PTNI Headquarters as the factories there and in the neighboring sectors were almost always in need of nostrop oil and e-cells. Pirate Alley, the sectors between Farnham's Legend and Hatikva's Faith, had almost constant clashes between Argon security forces and the local Pirates, and despite the hostile locals it was also a major trade route. That translated into lots of loot for me, and I had trawled it many times before when we were short on cash. Yeah, nice bunch of scavengers we are. I did it to keep us off the radar, and as far as the Argon or anyone else knew we where just another bunch of mercs trying to make a living.

I probably could have started trading and made a nice living out of it, but a couple of months after the Xenon had killed my parents the feds had started asking questions about 'inconsistencies' they claimed they had found in my father's records. They crawled so far up my butt I could taste the soles of their shoes and in the end they seized the company in their everlasting hunt for boogeymen. It left a bad taste in my mouth … no, no pun intended … and I decided to go into the mercenary business instead. Besides, reputation was a big deal in the trading business and with rumors of unfair play flying around and a company led by an orphaned crackpot I wouldn't last a day. Judith, on the other hand, had no such skeletons in her closet. Time to head south, me thinks.

Well, at least I got out of the sector before I was distracted. A Paranid wanted a ride to the 'Nid equipment dock in Getsu Fune, and since I was pretty strapped for cash I had to accept.


Urgh. I didn't really like 'Nids, but since they made some nifty toys I figured I would have to be nice and pucker up. That, and they were at war with the Argons. 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' and all that. So I swallowed my pride, turned up the air scrubbers to full and docked. 'Nids tended to leave a funny smell, and this one was probably no different than the umptillion other 'Nids I had dealt with.

Whew. Yep, I'm now going to smell like a rotten termite hive for a week. He, she, it or whatever it was, nagged a bit as the clock ticked down, but I made it with time to spare. I hated nagging, though, and had it been anything other than a Paranid I would have suggested that he get the frak out and walk the rest of the way. Without an EVA suit.

I had just dropped off the 'Nid and was about to undock and disappear when this other 'Nid contacted me. He had someone he wanted to get rid of, or 'looking for someone to spill the blood of his adversaries' as he so poetically put it.


The mark was in Hila's Joy, and although my knowledge about the north-eastern sectors was a bit sketchy I knew it was quite a stretch. That presented me with a small problem; I couldn't fly there in the allotted 21 minutes, so I had to jump. And I had no jump fuel, which meant I had to dock at the local SPP and get some. They were Argon, and they probably had my face posted all over the place. Frak.

An old dog has its tricks, though. I had some cosmetic nanites, commonly used to change things like hair and eye color. These were military grade, though, and next to undetectable by station security. A quick dose changed my fiery red hair to a dark brown, another dose changed my turquoise eyes to nut brown and a third dose subtly changed my cheek bones, lips and jawline enough to avoid being recognized by the facial scanners I knew were spread across the station. Time to put my disguise to the test.

It worked, at least as far as to not raise any alarms and get station security crawling all over my back. A hundred e-cells richer I jumped south, crossing my fingers that it would be enough.

Hila's Joy, and my mark was just five clicks out. Uhm … So was a Banshee missile, hot on his tail. This wasn't going to end we … Ouch. Yeah, he took that Banshee straight up the tailpipe, which meant I would get a message right about …


… now, containing some rather harsh words and informing me that I wouldn't get paid for letting someone else do the job. Oh yes, my 'Nid friend was less than pleased to say the least. Well, screw him. I was less than a click away when Captain Stupid here decided he wanted to go out getting assfrakked by a five kg HE warhead. That's why you rarely see me in something that doesn't have a rear turret. The twin PBEs behind me were very potent missile deterrents, and kept smaller fighters off my six too.

Still in the mood to shoot something I headed back to Ocean of Fantasy, as the computer had picked up a combat mission while I was passing through.

Assassination mission. Bleh. Screw that. Xenon Patrol? Yes, please!


With 'Judith's' rather low combat rank it wouldn't be much, but I'd grab every reasonable chance to smash some chips. Now I just had to hope that all the hardware the Borons had stashed here didn't kill them first. And for my next trick I would park in the middle of the sector and twiddle my thumbs until the enemy showed up.

I didn't have to wait very long. A sole N showed up to the southwest. I gunned the engines and moved to intercept it, hopefully before some of the Borons got trigger-happy with their missiles.


Nope, no missiles this time. Just ol' chips-for-brains here and my eight HEPTs. There ain't no prize for guessing who won that battle, as I'm still flying. As a bonus a Kha'ak fighter showed up, and I figured I could do it for free.


This time the Boron did get trigger-happy with their missiles, but at least I got paid for the N I nailed. The ranking guild also saw it fit to promote me to Trainee. Quite a bit lower than the Crusader rank I used to hold, but I had the feeling I'd get there again soon enough.

Speaking of missiles, I was dumb enough to take another assassination mission. You think I would have learned by now, but nooo.


First I had to fly to Hila's Joy to talk to a contact that supposedly had information on the whereabouts of my target, then the frakker send me back to Ocean of Fantasy. Argh! I just came from Ocean of Fantasy, you bloody moron! Couldn't you have told the idiot who hired me that the mark was actually in the bloody sector I was in, instead of having me fly over here and then back? Frakkin' wanker. Or what ever Borons do. To add insult to injury the idiot took a missile up the ass just as I was ready to open fire, which kinda gave me the urge to level the entire sector. Time to continue west.

Aaand I got as far as Hila's Joy before this Split wanted me to return an abandoned ship. Or 'snatch and patch'-operation as us salvage crews used to call it. And of course the ship had to be in Ocean of Fantasy. At least it was an Octopus, in other words fairly fast and would probably make it in time.


Five minutes later I was in my EVA suit, hanging outside the Octopus trying to get the computer to accept me as the new owner. I had often wondered why the hell, in the thirtieth bloody century, we still had to get outside to claim abandoned ships. One would think someone had thought of a more convenient way to do it, but nooo. At least not yet. Time for some repair laser magic.
That was another thing I had been wondering about. Why the hell had someone had the bright idea of calling it a laser? Yes, it could be used to weld things, but that was just half the truth. The other half was in the backpack, an ETM converter generating nanites that would ride down the energy stream and fuse them selves into hull plating as they 'died'. It was basically a scaled down version of the massive nanite weavers the shipyards used, and although the capacity was very limited it could be a lifesaver when your ship had been banged up and you found yourself stranded a couple of thousand light years from the nearest shipyard. At least it kept the HISS happy.

What? HISS? The Hull Integrity Safety System, also known as Horrendously Insidious Servant of Satan and other funny nicknames. It was a network of sensors placed along the hull and hardwired into the engine control to keep them from ripping the ship apart if it took a hit. Great if you wanted to avoid having your engine nozzle come out through the nose of your ship, not so great if you had enemies on your six and those extra meters per second could mean the difference between safety and getting blown to pieces. But I digress. As usual. Now, off you go.

"You want me to ship them where?" I had just entered Hila's Joy for Gunne knew what time when I picked up this taxi mission. And the Boron offering the mission told me they wanted to go to … drumroll please. Yeah, Ocean of Fantasy More specifically the shipyard. Bloody hell. If not for the fact that it was willing to fork out some twenty four-odd thousand I would have given it the bird and kept flying. It was military personnel too, which meant I would probably be carrying a bunch of marines in my back seat.


They were marines, alright. Their leader, a Split named Cru t'Tse, reminded me of my drill instructor back at the academy. He certainly roared like one.
"Split say: Our pilot here. FORM UP!" Thanks, Cru. That should keep my ears ringing for the next couple of days. The rest of the squad snapped into formation like a well oiled machine.
"This way, gentlemen," I said and pointed at the Morrigan. The Split's eyes widened a bit when he saw my ship, but he didn't say anything. I could see he was curious, though.

Oh-key, that was the last of them. Time to get them to that shipyard, then.
"Station command, Morrigan. Requesting permission to take off."
"Morrigan, station command. You are good to go. Have a nice flight." Ya, right. If I never had to return to that twice blasted sector it would be too soon. At least it felt that way right now. Well, I would get a nice paycheck to compensate, though, which kept me happy as I eased the Morrigan away from the station.

The thought of going back to Ocean of Fantasy when I was intended on going west might have affected my throttle handling a bit, as I gunned it and hit the burner, earning me a couple of curses from the back seat.
"Careful, wahab amedha." So one of the Split thought I was an incompetent idiot, eh? Maybe I should let him fly economy class instead, spending the rest of the trip riding on the cockpit roof.
"Li'ai qoh't majeh eth kainde, da li?" I heard chuckling, and I imagine his boss was glaring at him to prevent him from doing something that would earn him a seat on economy class.
Now, if you're listening to this and have no idea what just happened, 'wahab amedha' literally means 'white meat' and was originally used to describe chelt meat. As the chelt is a rather stupid animal and the Split thinks they're only good for getting killed and eaten it soon developed into a derogatory term used to describe an incompetent idiot who is only fit for meat shield duty. I responded with 'You're not the captain of this ship, are you?' and I think he got a little embarrassed when he found out I understood that little sting of his. But I digress. What a surprise.

"Ding, ding. Royal Boron Shipyard, everybody out." They didn't get the joke. Sergeant t'Tse thanked me for the ride in the usual Split way, gruff and short, and then him and his merry bunch of marines wandered off to where ever they were headed. Wonder what a Split marine was doing working for the Boron anyway. Ah, none of my business. On a side note the Octopus made it with plenty of time to spare, although I was already thinking about getting a TM to use as a jump drive storage slash fighter bus.

Maybe now I could move west without being distracted.


M6 Drake - "Nomad"
M3 Cougar Vanguard - "Morrigan"
TL Elephant - {unnamed}
M2 Asgard O'Neill - "SGC-028 'Lux Aeterna'"

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Post by Triaxx2 » Sat, 21. Apr 12, 13:45

Don't count on it. ;)
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Post by Scion Drakhar » Wed, 25. Apr 12, 19:39

Zaitsev wrote:Hm. Did I blow you all away with my awesome story or is it so bad you all ran away or fell asleep before you got the chance to reply? Ah, what the heck. The view count keeps increasing so I'm going to keep at it.
Sometimes it's like that. Nobody says anything but you'll get a couple hundred hits in a day. In my case I was unavailable due to a mishap with a friend's dog and a misplaced cup of coffee. I just now caught up and am interested in reading more so don't get discouraged.

I love the way you invent Split language and culture in all of your writing, btw. Very entertaining. I just might blatantly plagiarize some of your ideas. :D
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Post by Zaitsev » Fri, 27. Apr 12, 18:20

Scion Drakhar wrote: Sometimes it's like that. Nobody says anything but you'll get a couple hundred hits in a day. In my case I was unavailable due to a mishap with a friend's dog and a misplaced cup of coffee. I just now caught up and am interested in reading more so don't get discouraged.
Your wish is my command ;)
Scion Drakhar wrote:I love the way you invent Split language and culture in all of your writing, btw. Very entertaining. I just might blatantly plagiarize some of your ideas. :D
If it wasn't for you, Gin and Rahne would still be collecting dust in the back of my head, so be my guest :)

But enough chit chat. Time for an update :D

PS: Since I've accumulated quite a few readers who don't play the game and aren't all that familiar with the X-universe I've decided to include a map. It's not much, but it might give some idea about where Rahne is and the size of the universe we're in.


Chapter 4 – Money for (almost) nothing

Personal log – 768-05-01 – 07:13

Dang, what a heap of rocks. Literally. Ghinn's Escape looked more like Ghinn's Gravel R Us. What caught my eye after the initial surprise was some angry Split ...


... and the fact that the local marine training barracks was offering a combat mission.


After flying back and forth between Hila's Joy and Ocean of Fantasy more times than I cared to think about I was in the mood to shoot something, so I got the station commander on the horn and asked what the fuss was all about.

"We have problem with pirates," he said in a rather thick accent. "Pirates say they attack if we not pay for protection. We Split. We give in for no one." But getting a merc to do the job was apparently okey. Whatever. The problem was that he mentioned pirates. I was trying to stay on their good side, at least for now, but the angry Mamba flying around gave me an idea.
"I'll do it," I said and closed the link. Yeah, but not in the way he though.


Oh yes, there they were. A Discoverer and a few Harriers. Time to break out the popcorn and watch the show.


Okey, I'll admit it was a bit rotten to sit back and leave the pirates to local sector patrols, but the people offering these kinds of missions usually didn't give a flying frak as long as someone saved their hides and happily paid me to get others to do my dirty work. The ammunition factory also needed some "protection" ...


... so I repeated the process and watched as the local Tiger frigate ripped them a new one. They even left a few missiles which I scooped up and sold, earning me some forty-odd grand to sit on my ass and watch the Split do what they do best. They even made me a Split Comrade. I failed to see the logic, but you don't say no to a Split. Especially when he's offering something.

I was about to head west again when another mission showed up.


I was to attack a ship … in X534!? A Dolphin Hauler, none the less. What the hell was an unarmed ship doing in the middle of a Xenon sector? It triggered my professional paranoia, and I immediately thought of spies. Frak. The Nomad. And the Elephant and our shiny friend. Wonder if … Nah, Tracie would have warned me if they had picked up any intruders. Still, I couldn't quite shake the feeling that something was wrong. A more practical problem appeared as I was about to jump. No jump fuel. Frak, and the Dolphin would probably get to where ever it was heading while I looked for a place with some e-cells for sale. The Military Outpost I was docked at was bone dry, which meant the SPPs in Hila's Joy was the closest refueling point. Double frak. Still, I had to try. Back to that blasted sector then.

About halfway through Hila's Joy I got the Split who had hired me on the horn, telling me the Dolphin had made it and the deal was off. Crap. Fifty six grand down the drain. After getting the money I needed and getting the Nomad out of that backwater sector I would have to set up a refueling point somewhere so I didn't have to run around looking for e-cells all the time. For now, I might fill her up since I'm here anyway.

Amidst all the fuss I spotted this funny little guy ...


Wonder where it was heading? Home, perhaps? Maybe to some secret UFO base?* Ah, whatever.

Leaving for Gunne knew which time plus one, I somehow managed to pick up a roid scan mission. Yeah, flying around like a lovesick spacefly was definitely my kind of work. At least it was for a Split, and he was paying reasonably well too. A quick forty four grand plus change would go a long way. Okey, a bit of the way. Or something.

Final-frakkin'-ly. Of course I had to visit Ocean of Fantasy one more time, which had slowly turned into Ocean of Nightmare for my part. Now I was in the mood to misbehave, and a couple of station protection missions in Ghinn's Escape took care of that. The local fighter patrol and Tiger did their job admirably, earning me another twenty or so grand and the rank of Split Family Friend. Nice job, boys. Now, westward. Once again.

Stars! If Ghinn's Escape was Gravel R Us then I guess Tkr's Deprivation was Boulders R Us. A Mammoth-load of roids and stations scattered all over the place. This could be 'fun' to map. Lucky for me I found a distraction in the form of an assassination mission from the local ore mine. While the Split was going on about 'work of much honor' I kept flying and let him yap, as I had the habit of doing. When he was done and I had the name of a contact I was supposed to talk to I had a blip on my grav in the middle of nowhere.


A Buzzard Hauler, none the less. I would have to check it out later, because now I was in a hurry to get to my employers contact in Home of Opportunity. With my luck he would probably tell me the mark was in Hila's Joy.

Not so. He told me the mark was in Family Whi, a sector I knew quite well. The Angel-teams used it as a staging point for operations in Split territory, so I knew quite a few people there. Yeah, despite the Argon government's official attitude toward the Split they had certain … connections with the Split Patriarch. We looked the other way on some occasions and they provided us safe passage. Well, most of the time. Sometimes a fighter pilot became a little too eager, and usually we never heard from him again. Ah, the joy of Split politics. Time to get moving then, and this time I was even heading in the right direction.

A couple of skips, hops and jumps later I was in Family Whi. I had my mark on the scope, plus three angry pirates who didn't want to pat me on the back to put it that way. Glad the last station protection mission gave me a few Wildfires, and even gladder that I didn't sell them before I took this mission.
Three Wildfires later and it was down to my mark and me. I had one little problem though, namely that he was faster than me. With the clock ticking I was running out of time pretty fast, but I had no choice but to wait for him to screw up. In the end he did, as a border control Mamba blocked his way and he turned around. That opened the way for me, and I filled his flight path with plasma bolts. Green death vaporized his shield and ripped into his hull from nose to tail, and he died screaming curses at me. My pirate rep took a small hit from that stunt, but nothing irrecoverable. Now I needed a friggin' drink.

A few minutes later I had docked at the local trading station, both to get a drink and to fish for information. It's pretty incredible what some men will do if they think they have a chance to get in your pants. That, and showing some skin would usually loosen just about every tongue out there. I needed a reliable jump drive supplier, and since getting them from the Argon was out of the question and getting them from the Boron was just too damn tedious I wanted to find out if I could get them elsewhere. So I bought a bottle of space fuel, unzipped my flight suit almost to the bellybutton and started chatting up the more suspicious looking part of the crowd.

An old Argon, slightly balding and with a big graying beard covering most of his face had hear rumors about a pirate base in Mines of Fortune that might have what I was looking for. He emphasized 'might' and warned me it could just as well be a wild goose chase, but it was better than the alternatives. I bought him an extra bottle of space fuel for the trouble and headed back to the Morrigan. Next stop …

… Mines of Fortune. The Teladi version of Boulders R Us. Could come in handy though, if I ever wanted to set up any 'legal' business that required roids. Unless they were worthless rocks, of course. Entering through the west gate I immediately spotted a Split energy transporter heading into the middle of nowhere. I peeked into his navcom to see what his destination was, and lo and behold ...


... Pirate Guild Outpost, Mines of Fortune. Pirate Guild? Hm. I had heard that some of the pirates had united and formed some sort of a guild, and this was obviously the result. I followed the Split and crossed my fingers that my bad pirate rep wouldn't stop me from docking. After trundling across the sector for way too long I finally spotted the Pirate Base.


Phew, it was still blue. Now for the inventory list … Yes! They had jump drives! Now I had my source of jump drives, although I figured I had to be nice to them in order to get my paws on one. I just needed some cash, and I knew exactly where to find it.

"Come on! Where the frak are you?" I was back in Tkr's Deprivation, looking for that Buzzard alright. The hull would give me at least a couple of hundred grand, and if it had any weapons on board it could be worth even more.
"There you are. Come to mama." I flew closer and parked the Morrigan next to it, then prepared my EVA suit to claim it. Blast, I really needed to find a better way of claiming these bastards. Oh well.

A minute and a quick hack later I was the proud owner of a slightly used Buzzard Hauler, and boy was I glad I had found it.


It had three Fragmentation Bomb Launchers on board in addition to a docking computer, three 5 MJ shields and five Wildfires. That alone would give me some seven hundred-odd grand, giving me a huge push toward my goal. Also, that docking computer would come in handy aboard the Nomad. No more screwing around with approach vectors and such, just get within five clicks and bam. Docked. Now I just had to send this puppy to a shipyard and I would be a happy camper. Didn't I see one when I skipped across Family Tkr, near the north gate?

I did. Jumping ahead to check things out I was just about to order the Buzzard to fly over here when I noticed these bright beams reaching out across the sector.


Letting my curiosity overrule my common sense I flew closer. As I closed in a familiar purple shape appeared, duking it out with one of the local Pythons. Kha'ak! A couple of Asuras, Kha'ak destroyers. Lucky for me the local sector patrols were on the ball, and a few moments later it went down in flames.


It made me wonder how smart these bugs really were, trying to invade a Split home sector. They usually had enough hardware stashed there to level an entire planet three times over, which the Kha'ak apparently found out a little too late. Sucks to be you, then.

Hey, they were even nice enough to leave some loot for me. I spotted a couple of Tornadoes on the edge of my scanner range, and since it would be a quick twenty five grand or so I swooped in to pick them up. As I moved in to pick them up I spotted a group of Kha'ak fighters off to the south.


The local military seemed to have everything under control, but since I felt like killing something I moved in to lend a helping gun or eight.
There. A fighter drifting off from the main group. I pounced it like a cat and pulled the trigger. Eight HEPTs hammered its shields into oblivion and I was about to land the killing blow when he broke off and did a split S to get under and behind me. Nice, a challenge. I followed him and lined up again, once again vaporizing his shields. He lost a good chunk of his hull too, which slowed him down considerably. This time no fancy maneuvers could save him, and as plasma bolts made short work of his reactor he exploded in a cloud of dust and debris.

With the sector cleared of hostiles I ordered the Buzzard Hauler to move to the equipment dock in Family Tkr, while I moved into Tkr's Deprivation for a refuel at the local SPP. A couple of hundred meters away from the docking clamps in got this Split on the horn asking me if I wanted to scan some roids for him. It would be a good fifty thousand, so I tanked up the Morrigan and went to work. It would give me something to do while the Buzzard trundled toward the equipment dock too.

A good ten minutes later I had scanned all the roids, the Buzzard had made it to the dock and I was nearly eight hundred thousand credits richer. Yeah, it felt good. I had enough to get a couple of traders going, and enough to repair and refit the Nomad. A quick refuel, a trip to the Military Outpost in Ghinn's Escape and I was ready to go 'home'. Hold on, you guys … I'm coming home.


M6 Drake - "Nomad"
M3 Cougar Vanguard - "Morrigan"
TL Elephant - {unnamed}
M2 Asgard O'Neill - "SGC-028 'Lux Aeterna'"

936974 credits


*: To those of you who are not familiar with the X-Universe; The "Secret UFO base" is a running gag here in these forums, kind of like sending someone out to look for elbow grease.
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am :D

Eye of the storm Completed
Eye of the storm - book 2 Inactive
Black Sun - Completed
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Scion Drakhar
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Post by Scion Drakhar » Sat, 28. Apr 12, 05:35

Another great chapter! :D
A Pirate's Story.pdf(KIA) by _Zap _ From Nothing.PDF(complete) by _Zap _ Prodigal Son(active) Original Thread, Prodigal Son_PDF

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Scion Drakhar
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Post by Scion Drakhar » Tue, 8. May 12, 00:47

I hope you're not done.
A Pirate's Story.pdf(KIA) by _Zap _ From Nothing.PDF(complete) by _Zap _ Prodigal Son(active) Original Thread, Prodigal Son_PDF

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Post by Zaitsev » Tue, 8. May 12, 04:56

Oh, not by a long shot. This nasty little thing called real life got in the way, and I had to make a few changes to my story to (hopefully) avoid turning it into "Rahne plus some gals and dudes" but now I'm back on track again. Or maybe it was the highway to hell ...

I also decided to abandon the picture links, as someone *innocent smile* said it made the story more cumbersome to read. Okey, here we go.


Chapter 5 - Hallowed ground

Personal log – 768-05-01 - 08:15

"Tracie? Guys? Do you read me?" I had just entered the sector and the comlink was awfully quiet.
"*kssh* Loud and clear ... captain?" She looked at me, puzzled. Then it hit me. The nanites. I deactivated them, returning me to my old self again, and signalled her to go on.
"How was Commonwealth space?" The sound of Tracie's voice sounded like the best thing in the world right there.
"Unfriendly." It sounded a little harsher than I had intended. "I'll explain once I've refueled you," I said, cutting off the question I knew would come and buying me some extra time. How would I explain that someone was out to kill me?

It took another visit to the SPP in Tkr's Deprivation to get enough e-cells so that the Nomad could jump to Family Tkr. I could have gone for the shipyard in Ocean of Fantasy, but I wanted to avoid it due to the fact that they were allied with the Argon. Besides, I knew how many spies we had among the Boron so I just couldn't take the chance. Yeah, that's the squeaky clean, peace loving Argon for ya. Time to dock and face the crowd, so to speak.

My mind raced as I docked and climbed up the access tunnel into the Nomad. I was essentially gearing for war against an enemy I knew nothing about, and it was a war I would possibly have to fight alone. My crew had no part in this and if they wanted out I wouldn't hold them back. They had saved my hide too many times. I owed them. Now they were standing in a semi-circle around me with eyes filled with questions and I had few answers, if any. Where the hell should I start? At the beginning, probably.

"I …" Frak. My mind was blank and the words just wouldn't come out. I shook my head and tried again. "I have some good news and some bad news." Understatement of the year. "The good news is that I found some friendlies and even a place that would give us an extra jump drive. The bad news …" How the frak should I explain to these people, my best friends and the closest thing I had to a family that someone had painted a big ol' bulls eye on my back? "The bad news is that someone's … uhm … out to get us. Or at least me." I saw more questions pop up in their eyes. Double frak.

"I'll try to explain," I said. "I didn't tell you before, but when we docked at that quantum tube fab in Argon Prime there was a strike team waiting for me in the dock master's office. It got real ugly, and I had to shoot my way out of that mess."
I paused for a moment.
"Somebody filmed the whole thing and cooked up a story about how I had gone nuts and shot four police officers who were out on a routine mission and just wanted to ask me some questions. However, they carried military issue repeaters and they knew I was an ex-Angel …" I trusted these people with my life, so I might as well let the cat out of the bag.
"Angel?" Tracie asked.
"Black ops squads," Gunny Pareii said. "When the government need to deal with things it can't officially touch, like say … wiping out a pirate clan to make a statement, they send in a team of 'angels'. Problem solved, and the government can deny any involvement." Then she looked at me. "Didn't know you were angel-material, captain."
"Likewise." That would explain a lot, actually.
"Oh …" Tracie said, kind of shocked. "But why?" she added after a moment.

I looked at them, then fished a memory crystal out of my pocket and held it up.
"I don't know for certain, but I believe they were out to get rid of this. It's a message from my brother, and it contains a recording of some meeting that, if true, could topple the entire AMIA and Fleet Command." They looked more puzzled than ever. "Hold on, I'll show you." I put the crystal in the reader and put the video feed up on the main screen. There was a few moments of static, then the image of a bleak, young man with pale skin and long, black hair appeared. He fiddled with the camera controls to make it focus properly, then he started talking.

"Hi, Rahne. Sorry to have to contact you out of the blue like this, but I've stumbled onto something big. Something really, really big. Listen to this." He fiddled with something off screen, and a recording of some kind started playing.

"*ksssh*tting to close for comfort. They could find out we have access to *kshh*rraformer technology," a male voice said.
"That's because you let them get their hands on one of our expe*khzzt*tal drones. But they have to be dealt with no matter what. *khssh* drones indicate that the terraformers are about to mount another attack. Ca*shh*u pull the patrols long enough to let them fin*kssh* the job?" a female voice asked.
"I'll do my best, but *kssh* can't be gone for long, not without raising suspicion. It'll have to *shh*imed precisely. They're pat*kzz*ling Farpoint for a reason, namely t*zzzt*ep the ch*kssh*s and La*kshh*y D*shzzt*i and *zzzmmm*rry band away. And if she had done *kfzt*er job none of this would h*kssht*e happened," a second male voice said.
"Well, we're certainly paying you enough for it, *kshhzz*i*zrrrkht*. More than *kwzzt*gh for you to keep the AMIA research division *zrrt* of our hair." the female voice said.
"Silence! No names!" the first voice hissed. Then the recording ended and my brother started talking again.
"Before you ask: yes, as far as I know it's real. Someone with enough political muscle to pull the frigates from Farpoint long enough to let the Xenon in and wreck everything is collaborating with an unknown party. This unknown party apparently got their hands on Terraformer technology and plan on using it for some unknown purpose. I think it's safe to assume they don't plan on using it to deliver birthday presents. A bit of warning here. Who ever is behind this might very well be coming after you. I have taken every precaution possible, but chances are they will find out anyway. Be careful."

The video ended and I waited a moment for it to sink in.
"I need you to decide," I said after a few seconds. "I, for once, am going to try and find this bastard, kick down his door and make him pay. It'll be a bumpy road at best and I'm not going to lie; I might not make it out alive. If who ever is behind this has the political weight to not only pull the sector defense from Farpoint, but also make me a wanted criminal, chances are it's going to be a long, hard battle before I can get my hands on him. So, if any of you want out I won't stop you. I've got the Morrigan so I'll be just fine. If you want to, I'll give you the Nomad and you can take the Falcon Sentinel and sell it. It should be worth at least a million credits, so you won't have to starve."

I sat down and leaned back, suddenly feeling oh so tired. For the longest moment no one spoke, then Tracie broke the silence.

"I say screw that. You've been a fair captain and you're one of the few people who have earned my trust. I'll stay."
"Yeah," Gunny Pareii continued. "Besides, you're willing to listen to people around you and you're not afraid to admit it if you screw up. That's more than I can say for most of the captains I know of, so I'm staying too."
"If the sarge's willing to vouch for you, that's enough for me," Mikal said. "I'm in."
"Count me in," Marissa added. "Besides, if you're going to keep this up you'll need someone to patch you up."
Aron and Val just nodded in agreement, and a hint of a smile spread across my face.
"Thank you," I said quietly. "All of you."
"No problem, capt'n," Marissa said. "Besides, we would prob'ly be bored out of our wits after ten minutes if we left." She grinned. The others snickered and looked at her rolling their eyes.
"You'll probably be bored here as well," I quipped. "The Nomad need some repairs, so I guess you'll be parked here while we fix her up.
"Ah, shoot. Oh well, it beats sitting in a military outpost staring at the walls. Besides, the thought of whoopin' some ass will keep us happy." She kept that big grin, and I snorted a laugh. Marines …

"Alright," I said, "here's the plan. The Nomad need to get to a shipyard so we can give her a proper check and get those engines up to speed again. I've also thought about claiming that Falcon and sell it so we can get some cash to get started. If we're lucky it might have something useful aboard we can use to fix the Nomad. That means you …" I looked at Iris, "will have to take the ol' girl to the equipment dock in Family Tkr and get them to check the mainframe and bridge systems, and take a look at the engines. In the meantime I'm going to check this place out to see if it can support an industrial base."
"You mean leaving you behind, captain?" Tracie looked at me with a hint of fear in her eyes. I nodded. She obviously thought it was a bad idea. I thought this would be as good a time as any to give her a taste of her own command.
"Yeah," I said. "Relax, you'll be jumping into a friendly sector and all you have to do is dock at the equipment dock." She still looked like she thought it was a bad idea. "I'll be watching you via the remote," I said. "It'll be okey." She looked at me and swallowed.
"Promise?" Her voice was like that of a little girl going out in the big world on her own for the very first time.
"Scout's honor." She gave me a thin smile. I took it as a 'yes'. "Now we just need a new name for this bucket of bolts and a credible cover story. Any suggestions?" Professional paranoia reared its head again. The Nomad was a common sight in the western sectors, and if some random moron scanned us and told the Argon authorities we could be in a world of trouble faster than you could say 'Hammerhead missile'. Besides, Split space had its fair share of spies so it was better to be safe than sorry.
"Eris," Tracie said. I blinked in surprise. She didn't care much for old terran myths and always gave me an odd look when I mentioned such things.
"The goddess of strife and discord … Fitting, in a way. Any protests?" No one said anything. "Eris it is, then. And I've got a feeling she'll live up to her name. I'll leave the IFF hack in your capable hands while I go and claim that Falcon Sentinel."

Five minutes later I had claimed the Falcon, and it was a goldmine. A Singularity Engine Time Accelerator, a 200 MJ shield, a 1 MJ shield, a PBE and a couple of HEPTs would all be useful. I ordered it to dock at the Eris and it started its slow trundle across the sector a I flew off to scan some roids. At least it would keep me busy while the others were away, if that slow-as-frak Falcon managed to dock before I was done.

"Wohoo!" The scanning was off to a flying start, as the first roid I targeted turned out to be a nividium* roid. Only a yield of five, but if I managed to move it I could make a pretty penny. Had to be careful, though, as moving large quantities of nividium tended to attract the wrong kind of attention. In every meaning of the word.
Two more 'Wohoos' followed, as I found two more nividium roids. One with a yield of three and one with a yield of seven. Dang, if I could get rid of this I could forget about fighting my way to the puppet master and buy him and put him on the wall instead. That was a big if, though, as people who were willing to buy large quantities of nividium were few and far between. The rest of the roids also looked good, and the sector would be more than capable of supporting the infrastructure I would need to feed my future fleet.

Finally, with about ten roids left to scan, the Falcon managed to dock. I ordered Tracie and the marines to transfer the shields, weapons and anything else they found useful and get out.

"We're here, captain. Approaching the equipment dock now." She sounded a little stressed.
"Good. Now send the Falcon to the shipyard. You'll find a Buzzard Hauler at the equipment dock with a docking computer and a few Wildfires on board. Transfer it to the Eris and send the Buzzard to the shipyard too. Then tell the crew to check the mainframe and take a look at the engines. I think we busted a few spatial compressors too, so you might have them take a look there as well. Keep it up, you're doing fine."
"Thanks, captain." She still sounded stressed.
"Just giving credit where credit is due. One thing, though. Have Gunny encrypt the navigation record. I have no reason to mistrust the Split, but one never knows. Rahne out." I cut the link and leaned back, remembering when I had been put in charge of my first boarding team. I was so nervous I felt like I was about to wet my pants for every abrupt sound I heard, but somehow I managed to pull it off. Then my master gunny patted me on the back and told me to worry about the second operation instead, as that was when most people screwed up. They had managed the first one and gotten a self confidence boost, thinking they were invincible, and ended up screwing it big time. I managed my second one too, and a third one and a fourth one. After twenty six I stopped counting and concentrated on surviving the next one instead. It was easier to deal with it that way.

So, after scanning the last roid I just had to wait. The mainframe would probably take some time to fix, and then there was the engines. I knew I wouldn't have to wait long, though. Despite the rumors Split were actually very efficient mechanics, and they would have the Eris back in ship shape in no time. It made sense too, sort of. Good mechanics and ships that were quick to repair meant they could spend more time fighting, and if it was anything the Split loved it was a good fight.

A beep distracted me from my thoughts. It was a message from the shipyard. The Falcon had made it, and since I was listed as the owner they wanted to know what to do with it. Since I had told Tracie to clean out everything useful it was just an empty hull so I sold it. For a pretty good price too. That's a lot for something that's going to end up as rivets. So, I was now officially a millionaire. It felt kinda good, to be honest. Now I had to make those credits multiply.

A few minutes later another beep told me the Buzzard Hauler had arrived at the shipyard and was ready to be scrapped, and at the same time Tracie called me up and said the Split had finished repairing the Eris. I ordered her to fly to the solar power plant in Tkr's Deprivation, get enough e-cells for a round trip, and jump here. Then I cut the link. Selling those ships meant I had almost three point one million at my disposal, and it was time to start planning.


*: For those of my readers not familiar with X, Nividium is just a fancy name for platinum. It's very valuable in the X-universe, and due to the game mechanics it's basically a license to print money if you run a large enough operation. I intend to limit my mining operation to one ship, though, otherwise it'll make the game way too easy.
Last edited by Zaitsev on Sun, 13. May 12, 04:42, edited 1 time in total.
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am :D

Eye of the storm Completed
Eye of the storm - book 2 Inactive
Black Sun - Completed
Endgame - Completed

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