written by Fyren
With my taxi now heavily armed with the largest cannons it can handle, it looks more like a gunship. It’s time to put it to use. I head home to the Firen system and I receive an incredibly warm welcome as usual. Flight control at Kronecker Dock recognizes my ship on approach and greets me by name. A few members of the ruling faction meet me at the landing pad. “It is nice to know that I have a place I can truly rest.” I tell them in response to their platitudes, niceties, and vigorous handshakes. I head to a familiar bar for a drink.
After downing my third glass, I finally have enough liquid courage coursing through my veins to go in search of something test out my new cannons on. I stand up from the table I was occupying in a dark corner just in time to hear my name shouted from across the room. “Commander Fyren! Just the man I was looking for.” I look around and behind me to make sure I wasn’t being mistaken. The leader of Firen Purple Electronics was staring right at me with a big grin. “I’ve been told by the dock workers that you’ve turned your taxi into a gunship. We’ve been having some trouble with some pirates hijacking our shipments if you’d be interested in helping.” This is it. Adventure. This is what I wanted and it just landed in my lap, but now that the time had come I found my knees weak and shaky. I couldn’t muster a single word and instead merely nodded my assent. “Excellent, I’ll have the details sent to your ship’s computer. Good luck out there Commander.”
The target system is close. The pirates are actually a group of criminals in control of the Bark Pular system. Drug runners, scavengers and general low lifes. My goal here is to simply disrupt their operations by taking out a dozen of their ships. I am at a loss though, and have no idea where to start. How do I find them? I can’t just start shooting at thing, there are Federation and Alliance forces in the area too. I decide to just cruise along until I see something.
“Interdiction detected” the computer chimes in. “What? I’m supposed to be the one doing the hunting here!” I exclaim. Before I even have time to react my warp bubble collapses around me. “Scan detected” comes a familiar warning. I turn my ship around as fast as I am able and deploy all 5 of my heavy cannons. A quick scan of my would be assailant reveals that they are a pirate of the drug empire of Bark Pular, and exactly who I need to destroy. I was hunting for pirates, but the pirate found me instead. I laugh out loud at my dumb luck and immediately open fire. The force of the guns firing rocks the cockpit a little, definitely not something I am used to. “Target shields offline” comes my computer’s voice as large balls of plasma slam into my target. “Wow! Is it really this easy?” I respond to the computer as if holding a conversation with it. More shots connect with the pirate and before long they are nothing more than a floating field of scrap metal and debris. “One down, only eleven more to go.” I take a moment to let out a sigh of relief as the pressure and weight of the combat situation slowly dissipates and my breathing returns to normal.
I decide the best way to find pirates is to let them find me. To stumble into traps and look like bait. I continue meandering around the system until I find a distress call. If I was a pirate, that’s what I would do. I drop in on the distress signal to find it is bogus, of course. “Scan detected” just as expected. My weapons are already out as two pirates come in looking for an easy haul. “Shields taking damage”. Despite being ready for it, one of them makes a pass at me while I’m lining up my cannons on the other. I’m not sure I can take two of them, I’m still new at this whole pirate hunter thing. I quickly take down the shield of the first target, and he starts to make a run for it. I attempt to give chase but with the other pirate still making strafing runs against me it is quite difficult. I see a flash as the damaged ship jumps away. I turn to face the one that is still left. We spend several minutes maneuvering around each other until we end up so close together that I can see the other pilot sitting in the cockpit. Her teeth are gritted and her hands are stiff, whipping the controls around with a white knuckle grip. “Shields offline” the computer tells me. I divert some extra power to engines to get a bit tighter of a turn on my opponent. All of my cannons fire and hit their mark. “Target hull at eight percent”. The other ship turns to flee after their friend. This one is not getting away though. “Not this time!” I yell, the cry reverberating around the cockpit. I boost the engine capacitor for some increased speed, determined not to let the target get away. I’m catching up. I realize too late though, that I was catching up too fast. “Impact. Hull integrity compromised. Target destroyed” I ram myself right into the fleeing pirate, delivering the final blow but causing severe damage to my own ship in the process. The jolt of the impact is startling to say the least. I drift through space for a little while just to give myself time to recover from the shock. Bits of debris bounce off the hull.
I am now sitting in a bar, much like the one where this adventure started while my ship is being repaired. Perhaps I will find wisdom at the bottom of a glass. I am not sure I’m cut out for this kind of work. While it is sometimes thrilling, it is also costly and highly dangerous. I nearly killed myself today. The Forgerunner Delta, my pride and joy, barely made it to the dock where it is being patched up. Is this sort of thing worth it? I suppose that’s the way adventures go. I think tomorrow I will just take some people wherever they need to go. Being a pirate hunter might be more exciting, but being a galactic uber driver provides its own unique flavor of adventure too.