Archive | Elite Dangerous

Special Operations

x-HFPY – Frail Harpy
Krait Mk II – Special Operations vessel

As I retired the Vigilant Bard I prepared myself for a new ship. One a bit faster and more aggressive, able to out-maneuver many ships in it’s size class and capable of mounting a short-range fighter bay. No, this will certainly be an interesting ship to fly. New opportunities in my organization will have me monitoring and supporting several systems as well as the occasional foray into deep space.

Briefly when it was introduced to the public I tested it as an alternative to Python. The same internal configuration as the Python and Krait Phantom means that should I wish, I could easily transfer between three ships with relative ease. But I’m a one-ship kind of person. I live in this beast, for better or worse. While she won’t be moving hundreds of tons of cargo or dozens of passengers she’ll jump farther and fly faster than anything else I’ve flown recently.

Rescue

I had been briefed, I reviewed the analysis and I had the necessary tools. But nothing prepares you better than live experience.

I reminded myself of this as the station burned around me and secondary explosions pushed my ship off of landing alignment.

The station groaned around me, like a great beast that had been struck a mortal blow.  I knew it would recover, in time all things do.  But time was not my ally right now.  Explosions pushed debris into my path.  I carefully dodged them, setting down on the assigned pad.

Funny how in a crisis we have to cling to what scraps of order we can find.  Clamps secured and my ramp lowered I hastily descended to meet with the technician coordinating evacuations.

“I’ve got room for 96 and not a person more!” I bellowed, trying to be heard over the roar of alarms and fires raging out of control.  The tech nodded, started waving at another tech and together we ushered them into my waiting ship.

All passengers aboard I carefully threaded a path through the tumbling debris and out of the station.  Heat sinks trailing behind me as I struggled to escape without melting a critical system or overloading thruster control.

The FTL hop from damaged station to rescue ship was less than 2 minutes.  Awaiting rescue teams helped disembark the passengers while I had technicians reload the heat sink magazine.  It was only 11am and the day was already looking long.

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.

SADR Logistics Depot

1800 Light-years, 48 jumps with only me and the quiet hum of the FrameShift Drive to keep me company.

Everything seems so far away now and I know I’m not even a tenth of the distance to the far edge of the Galaxy, let alone the farthest anyone else has been out. No, I’m practically down the road picking up milk.

And yet, pad 37 is a welcome respite from the short journey.

From Station to Stars

I’ve been watching the streams. Some of the material. Updates are coming to Elite that have me a little excited. Exploration is getting an overhaul, as is mining. It should prove to bring life back into the game.

People are somehow shocked at one of the new ships. That Mamba looks like she’d run hot and yet people are taken aback at how quickly it overheats. Yes, you fit a cockpit to two massive engines and an even larger gun, it’s going to get a little warm.

Me I’m looking at that Krait Phantom with some interest. Looks like it’s the upgrade from the Cobra I’ve been searching for. She’ll outrun and out-turn my Python in every category. The question is can she tackle some of the serious threat’s I’ve faced down. Only time will tell.

A song among stars

Vigilant Bard on course to Black Hide.

After several days scouring for materials and salvage on the Luminous Vim I’m back to the ‘Bard. Too many cargo runs for Li-Yong-Rui have left me wanting for something nimble and quick. Now, I understand the irony in referring to the Python as nimble or quick but it’s an improvement over the lumbering maneuvers of the Anaconda.

I’m ever wary for pursuers. It’s been weeks since my usual suspects have interfered with me. And actively sporting the social flags for Li have put me on alert. And yet nothing. Hundreds of units of flyers and industrial equipment have left me somewhat bored. All told, the most exciting thing to happen was a mild overheat while scooping a star coming back from a wreckage site.

Worrisome to say the least.

Thargoid attacks have pushed deeper in human systems. Deciat was hit and support is flowing in to bring her back into working order. Meanwhile wanderlust has found a team who’s beginning another jaunt into the far corners of our galaxy. So it looks like business as usual. I like that, the sense of normalcy is appreciated.

Legacy

Here I reside on Broo’s Legacy. Remote tinkering outpost for some remarkable engineer capable of eking out improvements. A soothsayer for lasers.

A redress on my ship, the Vigilant Bard has left me considering renaming her. Malicious elements caught up to me a few systems back. While I took care of them with little trouble it’s made me think that i’m over due for covering my trail and masking my ship ID once more.

For now, I’ll have to settle for some light recon duty and salvage opportunity while i’m in-system.

Inbound – Agrippa City

Thargoid attacks are something new, but nothing I trouble myself with. I don’t much think picking a fight with aliens is a great plan. But they’ve disrupted trade routes and supply chains. I pass through three systems on my way to Agrippa City that were suffering a shortage of medical supplies.

Hunting pirates preying on those medical transports was the order of the day.

Long Pursuit

GM Cephei. Why was I in GM Cephei?

Oh right..
I was being followed.

I had thought I was being paranoid. That the number of would-be pirates interdicting me was just unluckily high this week. But I indulged my paranoia once again.

Having your ship ID tags reset and your name obfuscated isn’t cheap. Several select bribes and a crate of Lavian Brandy later and once again I was merely some pilot in some ship plying the space lanes trying to make an easy credit. Using a series of independent and previously unknown brokers I selected a trade route moving easily obtainable goods. Nothing rare or noteworthy. Some medicine going one way, bismuth going another..

I had thought this was going well when the computer starts blaring alarms and the helm pulls like an angry bull. Interdiction. As is customary I throttle down and spare my FTL the stress of trying to evade. I figure, if it’s system security, a quick scan and I’ll be on my way. Unfortunately this wasn’t system security, unless someone in procurement decided that the time-honored Viper wasn’t meeting expectations. A lone Diamondback Scout greeted me with scans and conventional threats. Not a long-range combat vessel, certainly no match for my ship and my skills as a pilot. We danced among the stars for several minutes, his agility was outpacing mine and I was only able to land a sparing few shots but my beams cut deep. Not two minutes later his ship exploded.

The whole time they didn’t shoot back, just what I assumed was the jockeying for position before a well place railgun or plasma cannon shot. My suspicion was validated not ten minutes later when another would-be pirate, this time in something more dangerous, found me. Fortunately I found him on sensors first and made a short jump out-system.

The question became “Who had I pissed off?”

It took me a few days to get out to GM Cephei. A contact I’d made back near Ao Qin was promoted to foreman for a low-key mining opportunity out there. He claimed to have some information. The kind of information you don’t just broadcast over normal channels. He was vague but certainly emphatic that this information would answer a few questions regarding my current plight. In GM Cephei.

Of course I get there and he’s nowhere to be found. Nobody under his name on comm channels. Nobody who had even heard of him. Weird. Suspicious. I didn’t even leave my ship, this was too strange and I’m not inclined to wait for trouble to find me. several thousand light-year from home, I turned around and left about as quickly as I had arrived.