X3TC » Way of the Gun Chapter 4

Interlude

Chapter 4: Gone Fishin'

    Decided to take the day off from my regular 'kill 'n' steal' methods and do some scoutin' today. Before I called it a night yesterday I sent 'Small Fry', my little Octopus, off to Company Pride for some shields and software, and got it tuned all the way to max. Whilst she was busy getting fitted out I fixed up the Caiman as well and sent Creed off to OTAS for a couple more shields to get her ship-shape. I had an interestin' run in with one o' my mercs last night as well. Cocky frakker was a hair's breadth from gettin' shot. That said, if Yohandris hadn't been on my case askin' fer the money I owe him whilst I was outside patchin' Tools' hull I'd likely have been in a better mood...

    Anyway. I got Small Fry all kitted out fer scoutin' duties and whilst she was on her way back I spent a bit o' time on the public net, lookin' at ancient Earth history of all things. I'd been thinkin' about a name fer the Hermes, and when I was searchin' it came up that an ancient culture referred to Hermes as the' messenger of the gods'. Further searchin' turned up 'the voice of God' which in turn led me to 'The Metatron'. Soon as I read that I knew I'd found a name fer my TP. Considerin' what I've got planned fer it I think the name's rather fittin'.

    So, once my little scout had gotten back I called it a night, didn't even have a drink. I gotta tell ya, it was nice to wake up this mornin' without a hangover. I skipped breakfast and took a quick shower while my five mercs were eatin' theirs, then headed up to the fighter bay to sort out what I can take with me aboard the Octopus. She's speedy at 427m/s, but the cargo bay's a poxy 15 units, and nothin' bigger'n S class cargo. With her maximum shields, a whoppin' 2Mj, plus 4 IREs fer, ya know, 'emergencies', and there was only 9 units left. So I decided to top her up with mosquitoes to be on the safe side, which sadly means I've had to leave my gun behind. I'm not happy about it, but needs must.

    Out into the trade lanes I head west into Hatikvah's Faith and then south into Clarity's End. It's Paranid turf so I'm gonna need to be on my toes, but it's only a border sector, so secdef should be light, and since I'm only passin' through hopefully not quick enough to catch me. Along the way I send all my captured fighters from yesterday, the 2 Makos, the Scorpion and the Pegasus, down to the Light o' Heart shipyard...


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...fer sale It's not a lot, but it puts me one step closer to the money I need to pay off Yohandris, assumin' I don't spend it all. I've still got four days to get him his money, so I'm none too worried if I finish the day with less'n I started.

    Once I'm through Clarity's into Third Redemption I swing north and slip through the gate into Gunne's Crusade. A lone pirate sector between Boron and Paranid turf it'll be a sweet hunting ground, and there's plenty o' asteroids fer me to hide in. I don't have the tools to even try right now though, so I map the system and slide back through the south gate, then across Redemption and into Perdition's End. It's all quiet until I'm reachin' the south gate, then a pirate


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...Carrack and his escorts turn up. They're not hostile to me though, so thinkin' I've successfully squared my rep with the clans I blaze into Desecrated Skies.


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Oh. Maybe not quite squared yet then? Bollocks.

    I cut 'em all a wide berth and scout the south and east gates while they're busy takin' on the trade lanes and finally slip through the gate into Moo-Kye's Revenge. Halfway to the north gate I spot a Paranid


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Deimos and his escorts and cut them a wide berth 'n' all. How come all the heavy hardware comes out while I'm in a frakkin' scout eh? Not that I'd pick a fight with a Deimos in Tendencies o' course.

    Eventually they move far enough south that I can head on into Mi Ton's Refuge where I find a pirate Rehabilitation Facility. It's flaggin' hostile, but at least I know there's one here. I also know that beyond the north gate lies Loomanckstrat's Legacy...and a fierce clan of psychos. Why psychos?

    One word. Minefield. The Loomanck's clan are well known fer leavin' a whole bunch o' SQUASH mines throughout the sector. Considerin' my shieldin' on Small Fry I have to admit I'm kinda nervous about crossin' the event horizon, but I'm gonna have to risk it.

    As soon as I'm into the system I pick up an abandoned Mamba


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on my scanner. It's a ways off amongst the 'roids, but there's no way in hell I'm gonna try fer it in the Octopus. Cos, ya know...minefield. Yeah. So, instead I make a note of it's position and move north to pick up the gate, then back down to the south gate and across the sector lookin' fer the east gate, which leads me through to Spaceweed Grove.

    Grove shows up a few interestin' stations between the west 'n' north gates, then I'm on into Acquisition Repository, where I spot a Paranid tech trader who's en route to the pirate base in the sector. I don't know where the base is, so I follow behind him, all the way up past the north gate and


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way off to the east.

    Sweet! I think that's far enough off the beaten path fer me to start training my mercs. As I'm on the approach I notice there's a hacker offerin'


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his services so I make use o' him and get access to one of the nearby Rehab bases. I'm hopin' it's the one in Mi Ton's that he's hacked, so checkin' back through sector maps I'm pleased to find I got the right one!


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That'll be handy in the future. Fer now though I dock at the base and call in The Metatron. I wasn't gonna hire any more mercs just yet, but there were a few decent ones available, so I made some dodgy deals, under the table like.

    No, not that kind o' deal. What kinda girl d'you take me for! Cheeky frakker.

    So, now up to ten mercs


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I decide to leave my TP here fer a bit whilst I push north, through the Teladi sectors around Ianamus Zura, up into Eighteen Billion. The west gate here leads into a Xenon sector, and I'm not sure about Small Fry's ability to survive a hostile encounter with the machines. That doesn't stop me from tryin' though.


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    There's 3 Qs loiterin' between the gates, and they got plenty o' other traffic to worry about, so I dip below the ecliptic and cut 'em all a wide berth. A few hair raisin' minutes later and I'm through the gate into Scale Plate Green. A quick scout of the system and then I head north,scout PTNI and make fer the east gate and the unknown sector beyond it. When I cross the event horizon I notice a few stations off in the distance, and am pleased to discover another pirate base


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amongst them. They've got some decent mercs fer hire 'n' all, so I commit five of my guys to some training courses at the Acquisition base and bounce Metatron up here to pick up some more crew. I can't afford to put any more in training just yet though, and I'm already gonna need a second TP. I wonder if the Duke would mind me takin' a pop at some o' his?

    I decide to grab a quick drink at the bar on the pirate base and bump into a Boron who desperately wants someone to


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kill the pirate that killed his partner. The mark's up in Patriarch's Keep, meanin' I'll have to jump gate to gate to reach him in time, but fer almost 2 million cred I wasn't about to say no. As I undock Small Fry from the station I order Tendencies to jump up here and meet me. Whilst we're hurtling towards each other for me to change ship I jump Tools up here as well, to bring me some spare energy.

    Once I'm comfortably back in the Skate's cockpit I jump to the PTNI west gate, spin 180 degrees and slide through to Profit Centre Alpha. Repeatin' the exercise gets me swiftly into Two Grand, then as I'm travelling down the jump tunnel ready to hit Patriarch's Keep I get a message tellin' me my mark's gotten himself killed by somebody else.


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    Grrr. Sons o' frakkin' bitches....

    Right then. Another quick 180 and I'm back into Two Grand, where the local heavy weapons fab is


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under duress and wantin' somebody such as myself to cover their collective asses. I'm gonna need a reasonable rep with the Teladi somewhere down the line anyway, and I need the money, so I accept the job. At first it looks like there's just a pirate Osprey for me to contend with, but then


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his mates show up.

    Bollocks. That ain't gonna do my rep with the clans any good.

    I let the M5s shoot past on their way to the station whilst I close on the Osprey, and take out the Buster on the approach with a silkworm missile. Seconds later and I started strafin' and rollin' to avoid the HEPT and CIG fire the M6 was spittin' in my direction, and opened up on her belly with my PRGs. We traded blows fer a fair while but I was landin' a helluva lot more shots'n she was, and as her shields dropped I switch to my EBCs and started puttin' rounds through her hull. I took a few more hits tryin to stay on top o' her, and if I'd been flyin' Creed that prob'ly woulda been all she wrote, but I won the day with 27% of Tendencies shields intact. Aar!

    Sluggin' it out with the Osprey has given some o' the M5s a chance to burn 'emselves up in the station shields, or get lost in the super structure, so there's only three left as I head in. I loose a disruptor missile at one and take him out, burn the second with my PRGs and hit the third so hard


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he bails! Now that's got some potential. Small Fry has been pretty good fer gettin' me this far, but I hate travellin' so light I can't even carry a pistol. The Discoverer's a lot slower, but it can carry M class cargo, which includes passengers, triplex scanner and a jumpdrive!

    So she gets patched up and sent off to dock at the local trading station while I make the jump back to the pirate base off PTNI. It's been


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a long day runnin' around and I fancy a drink. I've got most o' what I need docked at the base anyway, so I think I'm gonna spend the night here and tomorrow I'll see about retrievin' that Mamba down in Loomanckstrat's Legacy.

    Assets:

    'Violent Tendencies' – Skate
    Fully tuned
    3x 25 Mj Shield
    4x PRG
    4x EBC
    2x PAC

    'Assassin's Creed' – Mamba
    'Tools o' the Trade' – Caiman
    'Small Fry' - Octopus
    'The Metatron' – Hermes
    Discoverer    

    Demeter Super Freighter – Storage
    Demeter Super Freighter XL – Storage
    
    1,095,992 Credits

Chapter 5

Posted by Kirlack on Monday 15th April, 2013   ·   Comment 1 comments   ·  


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