EnglishGermanFrenchRussianPolishItalianSpanish
Log inRegister
 
The more things change... or, Trapper Tim's first experience in AP
Post new topic Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
View previous topic :: View next topic
Author Message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Mon, 2. May 16, 05:08    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Like his father, Kleo Braks loved spacecraft. Small ones, huge ones, it didn't matter. Unfortunately, also like his father, he couldn't fly worth a damn. Poor reflexes, an inclination towards paunchiness that didn't sit well in a cockpit seat, eyesight that started out poor and only got worse; they just weren't made to fly. Karl had discovered that if you knew enough about them you could always be with ships, even if you couldn't fly them. Kleo gratefully followed in his father's footsteps.

Well, until he fell off the trail. Karl held an engineer's papers and a responsible position at the Argon shipyard. Kleo held a felony record for having been caught working on a...ship of dubious title. When he had been caught his father had left the hanger just minutes before. The cops knew someone else had been there and sweated Kleo unmercifully, but he had held his mud. He would have anyway, but who would rat out their own father? Besides, the old man, and the old man's contacts, were his ticket when he got out of the slammer.

Unfortunately, Karl had been mostly eased out of the shadier aspects of his trade by that time. The close call had affected him, and as his skills promoted him rapidly at his regular job he had more and more to lose. Kleo scuffed along as best he could. Then Uncle Red came back spaceside.

Of course, Red wasn't really his uncle. Just a guy that his father had been so thick with that he counted as family. But a helping hand is a helping hand.

----------------------------------------------------------------

The grav fields embraced the ship, and the deck hatch slid aside. The matching portal in the top of the container opened at the same time, and the ship was drawn down through the floor of the landing bay. Once the hatches closed the container was shuffled into the depths of the trading station. The environmental systems of the container restored atmosphere and established gravity. Red climbed down from the cockpit and settled in at the hanger's com terminal.

The container came to rest in the hanger stacks. While most freight containers could just hang in the vacuum of space on the station's huge matrix of gantries, the hanger stacks had to be accessible to pilots. The access tube airlock locked on to the personnel hatch. Red met Kleo with a hug as the younger man came in. Kleo responded warmly, but as usual seemed more interested in the ship.

"Haven't seen her in a long time. I can't believe you kept it."

"My ace in the hole. I knew that no matter how much cash I had I might squander it all, but if worst came to worst as long as I had a ship I could get back on my feet."

"Not exactly your style, Uncle Red."

"More of a working man's runabout."

"Yeah." Kleo brushed his hand across a section of the hull. Ionized metal showered off as a fine powder. "Looks like you've been doing some work."

"Poorly, obviously."

"Minor damage. Easy enough to clean up. Was it worth it?"

"Let's go see."

The two men left the hanger. Red stopped and entered a bay number into the terminal in the zero gravity access tube. Two blocks of hand and footholds in the wall of the tube glowed faintly, and they locked in with their mag boots. The mechanism delivered them to another hanger.

Kleo let out a low whistle as they entered the hanger. "Now, this is more your style."

"Yeah."

In the cradle sat another Buster. Kleo took in the sturdy struts that had been added to the wings of the craft. "Those will handle some high power maneuvering thrusters," he said. He eyed the gun mounts on the tops of the struts. "Someone grafted those struts off of a Nova." He climbed onto the port wing, ducking into the space under the strut. "Gun mounts are live. They rerouted the cables from the fuselage mounts." He pushed the burnt end of a hanging cable so that it swayed gently. "They were live, anyway." He dropped to the deck, landing softly in the low gravity. "Your work?"

"The damage is. I can't guess who built her."

"Teladi, probably. Got papers?"

"Yeah. Legit salvage. Took a defense contract from a station out on the border."

Kleo frowned. "Not like you to fight pirates, Uncle."

"I know. I used to worry that if I took a contract like that some friend would show up. Seems like I hardly have any friends left."

"You aren't gonna make new ones this way."

"Yeah. Seems like the only people who have survived since the old days are the ones who went straight though."

"Like dad?"

Red just nodded. No point telling Kleo that his dad had already bent again, just from Red coming back and needing a favor. He was feeling guilty enough about that, and even though a connection at the shipyard would be invaluable to a pirate, he had no intention of needing that sort of connection again.

----------------------------------------------------------------

The Rim Club in the Herron's Nebula trading station was bigger than Red remembered it. Most places seem smaller than you remember if revisited after the passage of years, but in this case it didn't matter how things seemed, the club actually was bigger. A lot bigger. It had expanded, taking over additional compartments, and now spread so far along the rim of the great rotating barrel of the station that the curvature of the floor was apparent.

The entire barrel rolled to produce centripetal force, simulating gravity. The great hollow space inside was capped and partly filled at one end by the huge freight handling apparatus, including the hanger stacks. A gigantic counter rotating wing extended from the same central hub that the barrel rotated on, keeping the heart of the station steady. Since the landing bays were on the face of the station that was "in the barrel" the approach lane was overlooked by the huge plexsteel viewports of the Rim Club. Part of its popularity, no doubt.

When Red walked into the Rim Club, Brent Sahkarna was waiting for him. He had a table waiting against one of the ports. As they sat down he laid a sound damper on the table and activated it. It generated a thin shell of a gravity field around them that suppressed the movement of air molecules, stopping the compressions of sound waves dead before they could reach an adjacent table. They didn't worry about lip readers.

"Pruno sends his regards," Brent said. "He thought it might be best if he weren't seen with us. Make people wonder."

"Agreed. Give him my best. This arrangement is very similar to something he and I did before, so he doesn't need to be involved at this point anyway. I'm sure he has better things to do. You have a salvager's licence?"

"Yes. You have title to the damaged ships parked at the distilleries?"

"Yes. Legally claimed from Paranid traders operating in Argon space. I'll sign them over to you."

"And I pay Herron's Nebula Distilling Company for the use of the docks, all above board if anyone inspects their books."

"Right. Meanwhile, point to point transporters on the hulks beam supplies off of incoming freighters and into the supply storage. They have extra material that never passes the customs inspector on their dock."

"Which makes extra product that we ship out the same way. Everything balances on their books, and we have a steady supply of tax free space fuel. You have a pilot for the product?"

"Yeah. And a guy I'd like you to hire onto your refit crew. He does work for me, but he needs a legit job to explain his income."

"Since I don't plan on actually getting much refitting done he'll mostly just be operating the transporter."

"Plenty of time for getting my work done then. We'll need to set up a supply company to deliver energy cells and grain. Their books will have to be cooked, since they will be having too much 'loss in transport' to write off. I like a Boron company for that. Purchases and sales in Argon space, payment processed through the bank in Kingdom End. Harder to track."

"Know any Boron pilots who won't worry about a little irregularity on their deliveries?"

"Not any more."

"I'll take care of that then."

"And I'll get the ships."

----------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------

Nuts and bolts time.

Obviously, I replaced the standard issue Buster with the pirate model. Much better fit for my combat strategy when it comes to punking freighters, which is pretty much all I use an M4 to do. I also picked up a Buster Hauler in the same mission that came with the full four shields(!), so I have my original Buster plus the Hauler sitting around waiting for something to do. I got the shields for the new Buster off a freighter that bailed.

I do need a couple Dolphins for the Space Fuel op, so I need some cash as I haven't managed to cap any. I already have the big Demeters in place at the distilleries. They can hold 2500 e-cells, 1250 wheat, and 250 space fuel...set for high profit sales just to make sure the stills never stop and buying a bit below average. Obviously the Harrier will be doing the dirty work with my favorite Teladi.

Otherwise, I've done some simple missions. Retrieved and failed to return a Harrier Vanguard (cost me more in engine tunings just to get it to the shipyard before the timer ran out than the offered reward, even if I had had some way to get it there on time). Hauled a Disco load of carto chips. And of course shot up some Paranids in passing. The usual early game stuff.

Differences noticed in AP: Mosquitoes are really useful. I used to just run, flip, and shoot to dispatch incoming missiles. They seem to be a lot harder to hit, or not just blow up in one shot, or something. Haven't died of it, but I've been hit a couple times and I'm not used to that.


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sabrina Bergin





Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 2166 on topic
Location: Portsmouth UK
Thank you for registering your game
PostPosted: Mon, 2. May 16, 08:11    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Missiles in AP have hull points Tim, so they can take a few hits from light weapons fire without going "Booom!"

So just remember, if you see a barrage of tornado's or flails coming at you, your jump drive is your new best friend.


_________________
When traveling pause occasionally, look back and enjoy the moment again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Mon, 2. May 16, 15:31    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Sabrina Bergin wrote:
Missiles in AP have hull points Tim, so they can take a few hits from light weapons fire without going "Booom!"

So just remember, if you see a barrage of tornado's or flails coming at you, your jump drive is your new best friend.


I don't usually fly things that can't just outrun tornadoes and flails. But my little Disco and Buster might have to do more jumping away than I am accustomed to.


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Triaxx2





Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Posts: 7043 on topic

Thank you for registering your game
PostPosted: Mon, 2. May 16, 18:29    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

PSG's, still the ultimate anti-missile system. (Also, anti-reputation.)


_________________
A Pirate's Revenge Completed Now in PDF by _Zap_
APR Book 2: Best Served Cold Updated 8/5/2016

The Tale of Ea't s'Quid Completed

Dovie'andi se tovya sagain
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Tue, 3. May 16, 19:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The Buster glided smoothly down the approach path, obviously on autopilot. Watching through the thick plexsteel, Ugalirias Hurilis Lalundas IV stirred on the sitting bank that the Rim Club provided for their Teladi patrons. She had been making herself known at the various drinking establishments on the trading station. Not as a supplier of Argon Whiskey, yet. Just getting to know who the buyers were.

When his Uncle Red had called the Buster "more of a workingman's runabout," Kleo hadn't anticipated that he would be the workingman in question, but here he was. His days of riding shuttles were at least temporarily over. The use of the Buster was an unexpected perk of his new job. He figured it was a step down for the sturdy little ship, and likely the first time it had meekly docked at a trading station on autopilot. Red was more of a "full speed until you are in the barrel and swoop into the docking bay on full reverse thrusters" sort.

Once docked, Kleo sat at the hanger's com terminal. He keyed the comm code for the Teladi and was informed that she was unavailable. She had left a message, though. She had seen him coming in, which surprised him. Whatever she wanted with him, he couldn't imagine that a Teladi would be idling around watching for him. The message included a hanger location code, with an access code. It ended "In case you are docked nearby and get there before me."

A Teladi allowing him unsupervised access to her ship? This got stranger by the minute. Red had told him to "help her out, she needs it." He was a mechanic, one of the best, probably, but Red had told him that he didn't mean for him to work on her ship. When he asked what help he could be Red had just said "gotta go" and signed off, but Kleo was almost sure he had been laughing.

He pressed the alert stud and waited half a minute, then entered the access code. Apparently he had arrived first. In the hanger he found a Harrier, hauler model he saw from the extra wing structure. He walked around the little ship, focusing his examination on the repairs it had obviously sustained. The work was, charitably speaking, adequate. He got the sense that it had been done in a hurry, the kind of no frills thing done in space by a salvager. He stepped in closer to look at the welds on a repair patch. Not quite a signature or a fingerprint, but familiar enough for him. Red might as well have carved his name in the hull. Besides, Red would only say this mess of patches didn't need any work if he himself had made the mess.

Ugalirias Hurilis Lalundas IV let herself in to the hanger, noting that the mechanic had already arrived. She was glad to find him already assessing the damage. "How long will the repairsss take?" she asked as she approached.

"Well hello to you too," Kleo replied.

Ugalirias Hurilis Lalundas IV stopped abruptly, rocking much of her weight back onto her tail. Her crest drooped as she thought she recognized her error. "Greetings, and my apologies. Apparently I failed to understand your position in the Red Ellis Company. Or perhaps misunderstood my own," she sighed. She did not understand her own rank, but had thought it must be higher than that of a ship mechanic. "I am Ugalirias Hurilis Lalundas IV."

"The Red Ellis Company? That's not like Red at all. Even when he is doing something straight by the book he usually keeps his name off it. If there is such a thing, I don't work for it." He smiled down at her. "Maybe I can help you get all that sorted out. My name is Kleo. Would it be okay if I called you something shorter than..."

"In the past when dealing with Argon I have been called shorter names, and no one has ever asked before if it was okay."

Kleo could imagine what an Argon with a mean streak might come up with as a short for 'Ugalirias,' and told himself he would be better than that. "If you don't like it, I will use your full name. It's just kinda long to say regularly. Like my name is really Kleo Ornelius Braks. Ornelius was my grandfather on my mother's side. No one has ever called me by my full name, except my mother when she was mad at me. Red's real name is apparently quite a mouthful. That's why everyone calls him Red."

"I will be living among the Argon, and since I am no longer with the company my Teladi name is somewhat meaningless. I shall have a shorter name." She looked up at him expectantly.

No longer with the company? Kleo hadn't dealt with a lot of Teladi, but he had enough experience to wonder what she meant. He set that aside, for the moment. "How about You Four? That's short."

"That will serve. Thank you, Kleo Ornelius Braks, who I will call Kleo."

He nodded. "That's what my friends call me, Ugalirias Hurilis Lalundas IV."

"You Four," she replied with a wink, "but only to my friends." She hoped he understood that Teladi didn't laugh, and would recognize by the vibrant green of her scaleplate that she was pleased.

He laughed for them both.

-------------------------------------------------------------

"By the rings of the Priest Emperor, what were you thinking?"

Most underlings would have wilted under the gaze of the Priest Duke, but Hulkantitot stood tall. "We needed to know for sure if it is him. It is."

"We could have found that out without you putting yourself at risk."

"Flying a grain transport is risk? Then why does it not restore my honor?"

The Priest Duke paused, gazing inward to assess whether his companion intended a threat. Hulkantitot had taken the fall, and fallen hard, when their Argon slave program had unraveled. He himself had risen from the disgrace mostly unscathed, and owed Hulkantitot for that. "You serve the Priest Emporer well, old friend, better than most. Even if your service does go unrecognized." Hulkantitot eased, and the Priest Duke's inner view calmed. "The return of the Red Menace is sure to be a problem. What can we do?"

"Perhaps we should ignore him, Priest Duke. He will not likely come after us."

"He is ruin. Ruin for all plans of the Paranid."

"True. But we could withdraw our operations from Argon space. Let him ruin someone other than us."

"He singled us out in the past."

"Not us. What we were doing. He doesn't know us. To him we are just 'another three eyed cow.' If he remembered us personally he would have killed me instead of letting me go when I gave up the freight."

"Gave up the freight and meekly agreed to leave Argon space forever."

"I was there to give up the freight. I had to hear his voice. I knew I would see him when he spoke if it was him, and that he would let me go. A promise made to a lower life form is no promise. It did me no injury to accept his terms."

"True, though the ship was shot to pieces and not worth repairing so we lost more than just the freight. But there would be no honor in keeping such a promise. We cannot withdraw our operations from Argon space just to appease this infidel."

Hulkantitot turned his vision to the darkness within. The Priest Duke was right, of course, but Hulkantitot did not see this ending well for himself.

----------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------

Nuts and bolts, and this time my habits aren't just nuttiness.

The NPC traders are the obstacle to pulling profits from the NPC factories. If one blows up, a new one just spawns to take its place. But if it is reduced to a few hull points it will crawl its slow way back to the shipyard for repairs, taking it out of the economic system for the duration.

So when they get to that last few hull points I usually give the Paranids a last chance to spew all their freight and then "accept my apology," which for the purpose of the story is some sort of "go away and never come back" terms offer. It always surprises me how many of them, after spewing their freight like a dog shaking off water, suddenly grow a spine and say something stupid like "now Paranid show you what war is all about" or whatever. When this grain hauler opted to limp away it seemed an interesting fit for the story.

I must admit that at the moment I am more interested in the trials and tribulations of a rogue Teladi than in "my own story." We will be getting back to Red here shortly though. Promise.


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sirrobert





Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 947 on topic

Thank you for registering your game
PostPosted: Tue, 3. May 16, 21:35    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

It does make one wonder. How does a Teladi get fired from the company


_________________
9 out of 10 voices in my head say I'm crazy. The 10th is singing the music from Tetris
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Monkeyfister





Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 505 on topic
Location: Armpit, Tennessee.
Thank you for registering your game
PostPosted: Tue, 3. May 16, 23:46    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Tim, is "The Hunter Legacy" you?
Congrats on the GREAT Boing Boing review, if so!
http://boingboing.net/2016/05/03/the-hunter-legacy-a-great-big.html

Should garner a good chunk of sales, I'd think, as Boing Boing is HUGE, respected by happy mutants everywhere, and has been around for a very long time.


_________________
My rig: Shuttle SZ68R5, I7 2600 3.4Gh quad core "Sandy Bridge" CPU, 32G RAM, 120G SSD+60G cache SSD, Nvidia 550ti 2G. Running latest Steam X3AP with Bonus Pack and CODEA.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Wed, 4. May 16, 00:12    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Monkeyfister wrote:
Tim, is "The Hunter Legacy" you?
Congrats on the GREAT Boing Boing review, if so!
http://boingboing.net/2016/05/03/the-hunter-legacy-a-great-big.html

Should garner a good chunk of sales, I'd think, as Boing Boing is HUGE, respected by happy mutants everywhere, and has been around for a very long time.


Nope, that isn't me. The fact you thought it might be I'm going to take as a nice compliment though.


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Thu, 5. May 16, 02:12    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Well before the ship had cleared the rotating barrel of the trade station Red rammed the throttle to the stops and slammed his fist down on the button that activated the boost extension unit. The Discoverer had an acceleration curve that generally made the boost extension superfluous, but as the saying goes; it's the thought that counts.

Unfortunately, his thoughts were exactly what Red was trying to outrun. He knew from many previous attempts that it was not going to work. How had "I'll get the ships" rolled so easily off of his tongue?

He caught his reflection in one of the panel indicators. "Fortunately, I never really need to know the charge on weapon mount four," he thought, as he picked shards of glass from his fist. He always fired the weapons as a group, so all four would read the same charge anyway. The readout for three was right above the smashed indicator, just high enough that his reflection didn't lurk there.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Karl Braks tapped his wrist com on the data node before he left the shuttle, downloading the schedule data. He sighed. At least there were frequent shuttles between the trading station here in The Wall Sector and the main Argon Prime stations, but he was sure to be stuck for a while on this backwater cattle ranch before he could get back to the trading station and catch one back to the shipyard. Even in the docking pod the stench of argnu was unmistakable.

He caught a lift connection to the residential structure and started looking for the bar. When he found the Savage Split he made a point of going past it and doubling back. There was absolutely no reason, at this point in his life, for anyone to be following him. But, there was also no good reason at this point in his life for him to be going to a dive bar to meet Brenna 'Big Guns' Gilharno.

The Savage Split was not the kind of bar that competes with the Rim Club in Herron's Nebula. In fact, it wasn't the kind of bar you find in a trading station anywhere. Trading stations, even in Herron's Nebula which is known for its population of rough and ready miners, have a high concentration of higher paid, softer handed desk pilots. The Savage Split wasn't the kind of place for people with soft hands, and Ta p'Nt, the owner and sole employee, could never afford the rent for space aboard a trading station.

Big Guns liked to tell people that she got her nickname from some armed encounter that she had been involved in in her younger days. People who had been around her a bit recognized that the details of this encounter changed in every retelling. Even people meeting her for the first time always had a pretty good idea where the name came from, and it had nothing to do with a sidearm.

"Thanks for coming, Karl," she said as he slid onto the opposite bench of the back booth she had commandeered.

The huge Split had accompanied him to the table, making a show of taking his order for a drink but not leaving until a nod from the lady acknowledged that Karl was indeed who she was waiting for. Karl was sure the Split's enviro-suit was re-enforced and would serve as more than adequate body armor. It would probably require a ship mounted impulse ray emitter, at least, to take him down. Of course, there were people who had such weapons mounted on grav pods that could be maneuvered down a station corridor in a pinch.

"Hi Brenna. Long time."

"I've been around," she smiled.

"Not many of us are still around," he said.

"Not polite to comment on a lady's age," she said. Then she sighed. "I must admit my business is a lot less...hands on...these days. I have girls for that."

"I'd go for experience," he said, hoping she would appreciate the gallantry.

She laughed. "Well, MY experience is that women age much better than men, and that old goats like you are too much of a liability risk to make good customers."

He raised an eyebrow. "Is that a challenge, or a commentary on the recent reappearance of our good friend Red?" Now they both laughed.

"Not a challenge either of us wants to take up in a dump like this," she said. "As for our friend Red, neither me nor my girls have been able to distract him."

"You're working a base in..."

"Brennan's Triumph. To n'Spt's place."

"Don't know him."

"You wouldn't. He's a youngster. At this point it seems like almost everyone is."

"Does Red know him?"

"No. To n'Spt is putting up with him happily enough. He's spending money."

"Drinking?"

"Yeah."

"That's bad. Pirate den. Lots of young toughs. Red, drunk."

"Oh, he's not getting drunk. One at a time, stretching them out."

"That's worse."

"Yeah. He's staying right in his killing zone, waiting for a reason. I don't know what To n'Spt will do when a Paranid comes in, or one of those young toughs you mentioned says something stupid. He tries to keep a peaceful place."

"Does he know anything about Red?"

"Legends have short lives Karl. They aren't supposed to reappear. Nobody knows who Red is anymore. There might be stories around, but they won't attach the guy in the stories to the guy drinking on a stool in the bar."

"You want me to talk him down. Why? Why not you?"

"I'm hoping we can together. If I'd been able to myself I wouldn't have called you."

"Well, I assume you have a ship. At least I won't have to wait for a shuttle to get off this dump."

She laughed, tried to speak, then laughed more. Finally she choked out "You've never seen To n'Spt's place, clearly."

-------------------------------------------------------------

They felt the ship shudder as the docking clamps locked on.

"I hate riding in a cargo bay," Karl groused.

"We could have passed the time. Less staring at the bulkheads would have made you better company," she returned, sounding equally irritable.

"I couldn't afford you then, and I certainly couldn't afford you now Brenna."

"Maybe I'd let you not pay?"

"Free sex is the only thing in the universe that's more expensive than paid sex."

They were laughing as they cycled through the airlock into the patched together hulls of the pirate base. Karl's laugh died an instant death.

"I did try to warn you," she said with a shrug.

---------------------------------------------------------------

In what was jokingly referred to as the 'Grand Salon' by everyone other than To n'Spt, who called it that with a dangerously serious tone, all the customers wore their enviro-suits. Even the Argon, despite the fact that the atmosphere was maintained at Argon standard. "It all runs off the life support system of a personnel transport that took a lot of damage while To was negotiating with the previous owner," Brenna explained. "Best to be prepared. Besides, they started serving drinks in here before all the seams were finished and To was paying the welders with liquor."

She peered through the haze of spaceweed smoke hanging in the air, looking towards a table set up in a corner. "Red's not here."

"You mean I came here for nothing? Well, at least I get to enjoy this five star resort."

"Hush! To will hear you, and he takes a lot of pride in this place." She looked at him and couldn't hold back her grin. "Misplaced perhaps, but you know how Split can be about pride. Let me check in with the girls and see if anyone knows where he went."

"Hopefully not out the trash chute," Karl suggested. He was looking at a wild pattern of ionization on the walls, obviously made by small arms fire.

She followed his gaze. "Those aren't fresh."

"Yeah, I can tell by the grime. I'm old but my eyes are still working. Red probably would have vented the place to space if it had been him anyway."



--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------

Probably not much to say for nuts and bolts. Especially since we still haven't quite caught up to the "main" character. Getting closer though.


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sirrobert





Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 947 on topic

Thank you for registering your game
PostPosted: Thu, 5. May 16, 12:21    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I love the implied stories of past advantures.

And I've always had a tickle for the phrase 'negotiating with the previous owner'


_________________
9 out of 10 voices in my head say I'm crazy. The 10th is singing the music from Tetris
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Thu, 5. May 16, 14:19    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Sirrobert wrote:
I love the implied stories of past advantures.

And I've always had a tickle for the phrase 'negotiating with the previous owner'


I always looked at the "Nostalgic Argon" start as "gotta have something to be nostalgic for."


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JJRSC





Joined: 16 Dec 2013



PostPosted: Thu, 5. May 16, 16:05    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Very nicely written, Tim. Great dialogue. I agree with you on writing to fill in the gaps when you're docked at stations, etc. - that's also what I like to read about and what I like to write about.

I'm working on a story myself that I haven't gotten around to posting yet; I may wait until you're finished as I don't know that I want to complete with this! Wink

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Thu, 5. May 16, 16:29    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

JJRSC wrote:
Very nicely written, Tim. Great dialogue. I agree with you on writing to fill in the gaps when you're docked at stations, etc. - that's also what I like to read about and what I like to write about.

I'm working on a story myself that I haven't gotten around to posting yet; I may wait until you're finished as I don't know that I want to complete with this! Wink


Smile

Competition hones the edge of success.

That said, I like to read also, so please feel free to post...though I am trying to catch up on some new (to me) other threads as well.

Besides, it may be a while before this is finished.


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Mon, 9. May 16, 17:51    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The two men shook hands in the docking pod.

"Thanks for the ride." The man had not given his name, and Red had recognized that was no accident. He paid well though, using an untraced cred chip drawn on a Teladi bank account.

The pod had the standard five port configuration, but only one hood was extended. There isn't much traffic in pirate sectors, and their laser tower factory was far off of any traveled space lane. Red followed that hood out to the umbilical connected to the cockpit hatch of his Discoverer and dropped inside. Before he was fully strapped in he received clearance to undock.

It sounded more like a suggestion, or maybe even an order. He hoped that a good word from his new anonymous friend would dampen the hostilities a bit. He pushed forward on the stick to lower the nose far enough to clear the docking pod, then hit the throttles. He was in a hurry anyway.

-------------------------------------------------------------

The table didn't offer any seats. Brenna locked her boots to the deck. She didn't completely trust the gravity generators. "He gave a pirate captain a ride. Apparently his ship was the fastest thing docked and the guy was in a hurry."

Karl had waited while she canvassed for information on what had happened to Red. "Well, that doesn't sound like he is bent on murdering someone."

"Maybe he snapped out of it on his own. The girls thought he would be coming back..."

"I'll stay for a while. Wouldn't want to make the trip all the way out here and then not enjoy the ambiance."

At that moment they both felt a strong, brief pull towards the floor, and then the grav generator quit. They looked at their drinks. The cups were lightly magnetic and wouldn't float free of the table, but if they disturbed them the liquid would slosh uncontrollably. She laughed. "You wouldn't want to miss this."

"You owe me one for dragging me to this dive."

She grinned. "I thought you'd never ask. My compartment has its own environmental system. Reliable. Only place on the station I would chance being caught without a suit."

--------------------------------------------------------------

Three days later when Red walked into the grand salon he was surprised to see Karl sitting at a table with Brenna. He wasn't surprised that he was with Brenna. He was surprised he was there at all. Even more surprised they were sitting down. When he left there hadn't been any seats, because people generally preferred to be standing in case the gravity went out. As he crossed the room he noticed that the familiar pulsations of the weak grav generator unit were less intense.

When he reached the table he took a guess. "Hi Karl. Let me guess, To n'Spt got you to fix his grav gen unit."

"Yeah. I got tired of my drinks floating out of their cups."

Red laughed. "Yeah. I tried to tell him he owed me a refund for that one time. Didn't go well." Red caught sight of an Argon making his way across the room. "Just a sec."

He stepped away from the table, meeting the Argon a couple paces away. Karl was impressed by how much the Argon looked like a rodent. "Ratface Ramsey," Brenna said in his ear. "Try not to stare. He's not the most even tempered pirate you'll ever meet."

Red pulled a portable damper out of his pocket and pressed the switch. "Wow," said Karl. "I've seen those built into tables, but never one you could hold in your hand." They couldn't hear what Karl was saying to the pirate, but the rodent face split into a wide grin. It didn't make Ratface look any more appealing.

"That seemed to go well," Brenna said as Red came back to the table. Red cocked an eyebrow and looked her way. "Your damper might stop sound, but I know what transferring a cred chip looks like.

"If you look surprised in a place like this people might wonder what you see," Red said with a deadpan expression. He tossed the chip on the table with the digital readout facing up. Eight hundred thousand credits.

Karl and Brenna locked eyes. They both needed a nod from the other to be sure their expressions weren't giving anything away. They were sitting at a table in a pirate base with the better part of a million credits lying in front of them. The number of people in the room who would cheerfully kill them for that kind of money probably included just about every person there. They each nodded slightly, then looked back at Red. "You should probably turn that damper on," Karl said very calmly.

Red palmed the chip off the table. "Probably better if we adjourn to my ship," he said. "I know you could use a ride back to Argon Prime."

"What about Brenna?"

Red looked confused. Then looked at Brenna, and looked more confused. "Um. Brenna. Uh...things are going to get really...busy...around here. Ratface and his crew are going to be coming in with a huge prize. That many pirates with credits to burn..."

"He's right, Karl. I can't leave my girls on their own for that."

"I thought you said that Erin was ready to take over?"

Red looked back and forth between them, obviously perplexed.

"She's almost ready, I said. But she's not ready for something like that." She turned to Red. "You scouted the target?" He nodded. "If that's the scout cut every one of Ramsey's crew is going to think they own everything they can see."

"No doubt," Red agreed. "I could put in a word with Ramsey, maybe. He'll be wanting me to do more work for him."

"Controlling his crew when they're in dock with credits to burn isn't what he wants to be doing. He needs them to spend it all so they're eager to get back to work." She looked at Karl, sadly. "I'm going to have to ride this out."

-------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------

Nuts and bolts, I've obviously been roaming around pirate space getting my pirate rep sorted out, as well as getting life support installed in both the Buster and the Discoverer. Taxi mission, blow up a couple Paranids. Pretty mundane up to the big freight scanning mission. Now I've got the Dolphin cash.

I also picked up some better demeters to use for docks at the distilleries. I sort of wrote myself into a corner, because I had momentarily spaced out. The original docks were sized for using a Caiman to supply them (2500 e-cells/1250 wheat), and there is no way to match those with a Dolphin that isn't just wasteful. Fortunately, I got a couple of XL superfreighters that will be better suited ragging their slow way over to Herron's.


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Timsup2nothin





Joined: 22 Jan 2009



PostPosted: Tue, 10. May 16, 08:13    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

"I have more vacation time coming," Karl said.

Red nodded. "I've got a ship coming in, a Zephyrus transport on auto-pilot."

"That's why you've been out here in pirate space. Collecting enough friends so you can send in a ship on auto-pilot and have it get here."

"Right. With Ratface so pleased with me there shouldn't be anyone looking to cause me trouble. If you're staying I can't think of anyone I'd rather have installing the expanded life support gear I bought for it."

"I'll take care of it."

"You do know that the Argon government is not going to take kindly to someone with your rank in the shipyard spending their vacation in pirate space, right?"

"I might not be going back anyway."

Red smiled. "You and Brenna both talking about retirement at the same time? Tell me that's just a coincidence."

"You coming out of retirement and me retiring right after. That's more the coincidence that can't be explained away."

"I'm not following...wait..."

"Red, you always need a favor, and a guy at the shipyard is all too often the guy you need it from. It was great in the old days. I didn't have so much to lose, and you always made it more than worth the risks I took. But like you said, I'm a high ranking guy now. If I got caught now doing things that would have gotten me fired back then I'd be lucky to live long enough to get out of prison. Associating with pirates carries a much bigger price tag now, but we both know that I'd never turn you down when you needed me."

"I'm not a pirate."

"Maybe not, but from where I'm standing...which appears to be in a hanger bay carved out of a wrecked Mammoth and cobbled into some sort of low budget station by a crew of drunken welders...you look a lot like one."

"I could promise not to come looking for favors..."

"And we would both know that you would still need favors."

"I'll still need favors, and I'm sure I can find them. I don't have enough friends though, so I'm glad it won't be you that I'm putting at risk."

They shook hands, and Red climbed into the Buster as Karl made his way through the airlock and out of the hanger.

--------------------------------------------------------------

The base was buried in an asteroid field. Red had to concentrate on the flying until he was into clear space.

He didn't need to, really, since he intended to use the jump drive anyway and it would have worked just as well from the middle of the asteroid field as anywhere else. He just hoped the flying would clear his head.

He emerged from the field and checked his scanners. He locked onto a Boron freighter in the main freight lane. "If I'm such a pirate, why am I off to buy ships?" he asked out loud, even though Karl wasn't there to hear him. He targeted his jump drive on the beacon in Kingdom End and started the jump sequence.

--------------------------------------------------------------

He had picked up a new top of the line OTAS enviro-suit when he was buying the Zephyrus, and he was glad of it. It adapted smoothly to the high pressure Boron environment of the Kingdom End shipyard, and even featured ribbed vanes on the arms and legs that fanned out at a press of a control stud. He certainly couldn't swim like a Boron, but he could get around in the thick soup of an atmosphere without the lack of gravity being a constant problem. Plus it was really comfortable.

It wasn't enough to keep him from being really irritated with the shipyard representative that floated in front of him, holding position with gentle swirls of tentacles. "The Boron apologizes for the inconvenience. You may purchase the Dolphin freighters that you seek at our facility in Great Reef, or of course at the main shipyard in Queen's Retribution."

The Dolphin, basic model Dolphin, is the mainstay of their trade fleet. Red briefly wondered if this was some sort of play to get him to buy the larger and more expensive Hauler model. If he had seen some simple way to make that work he may have done it. It would be cheaper to buy one Hauler than the two basic models that he was looking for.

He knew the sanctimonious Boron would never try a con like that though. No one mistook them for pirates. He also briefly considered locking one magnetic boot to the floor and using the other to see how hard he could kick the squid like Boron, hindered as he would be by the drag from the thick methane.

He sternly reminded himself that he wasn't here to act like a pirate. "Well, thank you for your time," he choked out. He made for the docking hub where he had left the Buster.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Red decided not to jump straight back to pirate space, instead poking along through Argon territory in the Buster. He didn't want to argue with himself, but figured that he was going to anyway. That meant it would be best to be alone.

He wondered if he was an anachronism. There hadn't been open warfare with the Paranid in a long time, but of course he couldn't let it go. Or was he really the pirate everyone seemed to think that he was, just using the cover of a long cooled war to feed his need for combat and loot?

If he was really a pirate, maybe he should just face it. Snatching a couple Dolphins making their way through the pirate sectors would solve the immediate need, and he could probably make it look like losses to the Boron's arch enemies, the Split. Or has that war cooled off as well? He shook his head.

Only he would ever really know if he was, or wasn't, a pirate. He could scout for them. Smuggle black market goods to them, and for them. That made people think that he was one. But if he really started to be one, he would know. Could he accept that?

Lost in this extended debate with himself, Red traveled the sectors. He didn't dock, just napped in the cockpit with the autopilot keeping the watch through long traverses. He took the controls for gate transits, of course, so he was fully alert as the Buster emerged into Antigone Memorial.

Not far off to starboard he saw a Dolphin. A strange bubble structure clung on the top of the ship. He targeted his scanners. Paranid registry. The bubble was some sort of added cockpit, no doubt with controls that didn't require a dozen tentacles to operate.

"I am NOT a pirate!" he cried, as he swung the Buster to engage.

--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------

I was really close to giving up on the whole not-a-pirate business when I got reminded that Kingdom End doesn't sell Dolphins. It was genuinely fortuitous timing that I ran into that Paranid when I did. He didn't bail, but it got me back on the rails.

Then an Argon sold me a used Dolphin right after, cheap. It took a lot of flying around, and a couple more tries, but I secured the second Dolphin from a Paranid and all is well. Even with repairs I still saved a bunch of credits, and hopefully we can turn the page on "soul searching with Red the not quite pirate"...for a while at least.


_________________
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum
Control Panel
Login Data
The time now is Wed, 23. Aug 17, 21:24

All times are GMT + 2 Hours


Board Security

Copyright © EGOSOFT 1989-2017
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Template created by Avatar & BurnIt!
Debug: page generation = 1.81282 seconds, sql queries = 29