Hunted

It’s not enough to hope answers come to you. You have to search them out at times.

It wasn’t enough that I was chased, they were waiting for me. Three Federal Assault Ships were lurking near the belt in tight formation. Ambush. The fight was quick but brutal and as my shields started to buckle I devised a hasty plan. I punched up my remlok and braced for the explosion and ejection of atmosphere as my canopy was ruptured. Secondary explosions crippled my ship and while the hull was battered my suited body tucked into a ball and drifted away. Too small for conventional sensors to detect with no mass or heat signature I waited. A minute later, satisfied their target was done for and my ship riddled with holes they leapt into FTL and were gone in a flash.

Rescue ships were quick to pick me up once I’d activated my recovery beacon. The insurance payout was sufficient and while recovery of my ships wreckage and subsequent repair would be forthcoming I set about arranging for another ship. Changed IDENT codes and registration, the Frail Harpy was waiting for me in berth. As her systems were installed I’d thought about my next steps.

I had been looking into my fathers’ death closely. More so recently than I had been. The clues all pointed one direction. First to a shipping station in Ao Qin. A system now controlled by pirates. A pirate faction that was demolished in a brutal wave of “pacification” conflicts as some agency bankrolled a small war designed to ‘clean up our system’. If you looked closely you could see the money trail vanish behind anonymous donors and faceless bureaucratic agencies. Someone had clearly hired pirates and was now cleaning up the trail. But the more I poked the more someone poked back.

At first I thought the attacks were convenient, that the cargo I was carrying was tagged or the agents I worked for bought. But the ships coming after me escalated and the pretense of “hand over your cargo” faded. No, whomever was after me wasn’t interested in the cargo. They came guns blazing.

So now I planned my next steps. Opened some quieter lines of inquiry, reaching out to some people I knew with ties to criminal operations. And I waited.

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