X3TC » Way of the Gun Chapter 5

Chapter 4

Chapter 5: Back in the saddle

    Aww, mate! I swear, if I ever give up my life o' crime I'm movin' up here with these boys. They sure can party! I even got the pleasure of some post alchohol fun! Man, I love my job.

    So, I started the day by kicking lover boy outta bed, grabbin' a shower and eatin' breakfast with my mercs. Daye Bro, the cocky frakker I was thinkin' about shootin' a couple nights back, is one of the ten still on the Metatron, and I've banned 'em all from carryin' weapons in the common cabin in case their poker games turn ugly again. I might have to sit in myself one night and see how much cred I can take offa them. Heh.

    Once I was all set I climbed back into Tendencies cockpit and made the jump down to Acquisition. I'm hopin' I can find a hacker or two down here that'll get me some access at the Loomanck's stations. After a bit o' searchin' I do find one at the 1Mj shield fab who's willin' to net me dockin' rights at the Rehabilitation Facility fer a hundred grand or so, so I wire him his money and jump down there. There's a certain Mamba I wanna try to collect.

    I'm figurin' my Skate can take a knock from a SQUASH mine or 2, but I still creep over to the ship at a measly 46m/s. It seems that my caution is unjustified though as there's not a single boom or bang on the way in, and I finally pull up just over 100 metres from the M3. A quick scan reveals the bare minimum of gear aboard, but there's a prize amongst it. Two PBEs. Nice! I might have to take Creed out fer another run later on and give 'em a whirl.

    So I claim the ship and beam across my jumpdrive ready to bounce her back to homebase, only there's a problem. It seems that in my haste to get down here and bag this here Mamba I've neglected to bring enough energy for either of us to get out safely.

    Bollocks. Note to self, plan ahead, or at the very least make better plans. Frak's sake.

    So I give the 5 cells in my hold to the Mamba and leave it there fer now. I'm gonna have to pick a safe route back to the south gate and then bounce the ship in for an injection of cells from Tools. I thought I was picking the exact same line I'd followed to collect the Mamba, but I must have drifted somewhat cos I managed to set off a mine. Only the one though, but the explosion was big enough to singe me and the Mamba! If I'd tried this in Small Fry yesterday I don't think I'd be here to tell ya about it.

    With the ship secured and jumped to the gate I call Tools in to top it up with cells and send them both back to Aladna Hill. Since I'm now without a jumpdrive I'm gonna make my way up to Legend's Home the old fashioned way to pick up another one. So I start creepin' north, pickin' fights with the occasional passin' weapons dealer, includin' a Paranid flyin' a Medusa, but none o' them bail. Shame really, especially the Medusa. That woulda been a nice addition to my li'l fleet.

    I slip through the gate into Ceo's Doubt 'n' keep headin' north into New Income. The first thing I notice when I hit the sector is a load of nav beacons leadin' off to the north west. Curious as to what they're fer I bank to port and start followin' 'em. A few moments later and I've noticed what looks like a pirate base way off to the south west. Keen to see if they've got any work I head on over, and find a Teladi pirate with a job offer.

    Great Trench eh? Hopin' that my mark's will be Boron I set off the way I've just come, back though Ceo's Doubt and then west into Boron turf. The first thing I notice when I drop through the gate is the Military Outpost all but directly ahead of me. That's just bound to mean trouble. Then I spy my four marks. My four Teladi marks. Frakkin' hell. That's gonna put a dent in my rep with the lizards.

    Meh. So be it. So I start creeping across the sector towards 'em, tryin' to fight the feelin' that somethin' ain't right. My flight path is set to take me right over the military base, and as I'm gettin' close to it the reasons fer me feelin' somethin' weren't right became painfully apparent.

    They're not payin' me any attention at the moment though, so I carry on quietly up to my marks and start layin' into 'em. A few moments later and I get a mission complete message, and one of my targets has bailed! Given how close I am to that Ray and it's escorts though I think I'll leave that Vulture Hauler here, and make my way back towards New Income with my 770k cred.

    Now, I knew this job was gonna cost me some standin' with the Teladi, but I wasn't expectin' to lose core sector access into the deal. Bugger. Luckily for me the folks in Ceo's need somebody to patrol the system lookin' fer Xenon. I'd rather fight livin' targets, but I need to get the locals back on an even keel, and...well, money's money so I take the contract. There's a single P backed up by a small wing o' Ns. Stickin' with my usual practice I close on the P first, launching a disruptor and a hurricane missile at two of the Ns as they pass me.

    Ps are insanely agile fer an M6 and this one's no exception, but it's only got the one turret, so I slip in under it's belly and flay off the 400 Mj o' shieldin' with PRG fire, then switch to EBCs to quickly finish it off. By the time I caught up with the last 2 Ns they were busy nippin' at energy freighters down by the SPPs, and a quick burst o' PRG rounds reduce 'em both to atoms. With the job done I get paid and the lizards now consider me once again a 'Company Helper'.

    That seems to get me back in everyone's good graces, as moments later I'm offered over 400k to defend one o' the local flower farms from a bunch o' pirates. Really? Couldn't they have sent Yaki or a band o' rampagin' Boron or somethin? I've just gotten reasonably square with the clans. Frak it, they're here now and I'm wantin' to get paid fer killin' 'em, so I slide in under the Osprey, lock 'n' shred.

    Ya know it's funny. A few days ago all I could lock 'n' shred was a couple o' M5s. Now it's gettin' to be a regular thing with M6. So by the time I catch up with Ferret I should be well practiced.

    With the Osprey down I banjo the Nova and then watch as the Harrier impacts the station at full throttle. That completes the mission, I get paid again and take a huge boost to my Teladi rep. I think that'll do me nicely fer now, so I head back into New Income to finish following those nav beacons. Ah! Another gate eh? The last unknown sector I looked at had some interestin' occupants, so let's see what this'n has in store.

    Nothin'. Frak all. Just a bunch o' asteroids in the southern half o' the system. And a gate to Montalaar...hang on. This must be the unkown sector that connects to the Montalaar east gate! It's prob'ly a good job I didn't duck in here when I first found that gate, cos I reckon the bounty hunters woulda been on me in no time, and there's not much cover in here.

    So. I make my way up through Montalaar and Light o' Heart and finally dock at the tradin' station in Aladna Hill. Whilst I've been killin' and robbin' folks Small Fry's been plottin' a route back down here from Two Grand that doesn't take it across hostile Xenon sectors, and my Discoverer has been followin' behind it at a safe distance. I even managed to bag a few Mass Drivers from the military outpost in Rhonkar's Fire, meanin' Creed will be a force to be reckoned with when I get back out into the trade lanes. Before I can get back into the Mamba's cockpit though I need to strip all the gear currently aboard Tendencies and put it back into storage. That's the one major issue in splittin' my flight time between a Boron fighter and a Split one. There's just too many good weapons for both that aren't compatible with the other.

    In the end I settle on the 2 PBEs, a pair of HEPTs, 2 Mass Drivers and 2 EBCs. That ought to give me plenty o' options fer some general piratin', and a few choice missiles to lob at anythin' nasty should keep anyone lookin' to hurt me at length. With Creed all set up I undock and head out into Hatikvah's to find some marks.

    My first target's a Paranid weapon dealer carryin' a bunch o' MD ammo, which'll come in handy. So we negotiate until he's dropped the lot, and I call in Tools to collect. Then I spot an under armed and under shielded Falcon with a Boron pilot and take a pop at him. Awww yeah. As that makes it's way back to Aladna Hill I beat on another Paranid weapons dealer in a bid to claim the mobile drillin' lasers he's got in his hold. He takes a bit o' convincin', but thanks to my PBE diplomacy he soon coughs up. Whilst Tools is gettin' busy pickin' that lot up I spot a Boron with not only another load of Mass Driver ammo, but also a bunch o' PRGs!

    Suffice to say that a li'l more PBE diplomacy was enough to get me the goods.

    After that it's lookin' like the sector's dryin' up, so I push on into Nopileos', where it soon becomes apparent that today's the day I stock up on MD ammo. Seems like everyone 'n' their dog are carryin' the stuff! One Paranid was carryin' over 5 and a half thousand energy cells 'n' all, so Tools was busy jumpin' back 'n' forth collectin' all o' my swag. I even managed to force a Barracuda pilot to bail. Ya know, I like Nopileos', it's always so good to me.

    I finally slip across the gate into Danna's Chance, where I get an offer from a hacker to net me dockin' rights at the Brennan's pirate base. Sweet! Eager to see whether the rumours I've heard are true and the mercs there are generally awesome, I commit five more of my boys to some trainin' and bounce The Metatron down to meet me. Only I've forgotten somethin'. Somethin' kinda important. Bet you already spotted it, aye?

    Lasertowers. 5 o' them, all clustered around the base. That's gonna make dockin' kind o' difficult now ain't it? Not bein' one to shy away from a challenge though, I give it a shot. Pilotin' Metatron between two 'roids to give me some cover keeps a lot o' beams from hittin' me, but I've still had my shields knocked down to just 10% by the time I was close enough to make use o' the dockin' computer. That was too frakkin' close. Hopefully gettin' out o' here will be a mite easier'n gettin' in. Still, I do manage to bag myself 5 more mercs to add to my roster. With a full band o' 20 now at my disposal I'm in dire need o' a second TP.

    I give my shields a bit o' time to recharge and then undock, instantly preppin' the jumpdrive fer a bounce to the the west gate, but oddly enough none o' the lasertowers fire on me whilst I'm idlin' next to the base, and then the drive kicked in and I was 20 klicks away. I quickly call Creed in and swap back to it, sendin' Metatron back to Acquisition so that my next cash injection can get some more o' my boys in trainin'.

    In the meantime I go back to piratin', keepin' to the trade lane between the south 'n' west gates so as to give yon lasertowers no reason to be shootin' at me. It's not long before I've bagged a Demeter from a passin' Paranid, but after that the sector's kind o' quiet so I push on into Split Fire. As I'm checkin' out the sector map lookin' fer targets I spot a weapon dealer comin' up outta the south gate, and make a bee-line fer him to peek in his hold. Nice, a brace o' CIGs and a smatterin' o' HEPTs! Once again PBE diplomacy proves too much for the pilot to argue with, and he coughs up the lot. Whilst Tools faffs around trying to pick some o' that up I spot this feller and we negotiate fer ownership o' those 1Mj shields. I pick 'em up myself though, and send Tools back to base. Why?

    Cos this lot showed up.

    Yeah. That'd be two seperate Thresher battlegroups. I'm guessin' they either got business with Family Rhy, or they've taken a sudden and intense dislike to the Paranid. I'm just about to start piratin' again as the second moves down to the south gate, when a third battlegroup drops through the northern. Right. That's me done fer the day. When your primary targets start lobbing trios o' M7s in your direction, and you're runnin' on 50 Mj o' shieldin', it's time to pack up and grab a beer.

    I make my way back towards Aladna Hill, managin' to bag another Ion disruptor from a passin' Boron, and another Demeter in Danna's Chance. I forsee a weldin' session in my near future. I think tomorrow I'm gonna make a solid effort to make Yohandris his moolah, and bag another TP. For today though...well, I'm pretty much skint.

    Assets:

    'Assassin's Creed' – Mamba
    Fully Tuned
    2x 25 Mj Shield
    2x PBE
    2x HEPT
    2x MD
    2x EBC

    'Violent Tendencies' – Skate
    'Tools o' the Trade' – Caiman
    'Small Fry' - Octopus
    'The Metatron' – Hermes
    Mamba
Discoverer    

    Falcon
    Barracuda

    Demeter x2

    Demeter Super Freighter – Storage
    Demeter Super Freighter XL – Storage

    195, 766 Credits

Posted by Kirlack on Tuesday 23rd April, 2013   ·   Comment 1 comments   ·  


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