Trevethick Orbital, BR Piscium
This traditional Solar “weekend” thing was kinda fun, but “Monday”, whatever that is, was a bear, and nobody on the station was offering much of anything except the station stoolies, who were willing to offer credits for Rebel dead drop comm pods, but not willing to keep it on the up-and-up. Who cares, it was 4K more than I’d have if I dead-headed Sol-ward.
NLTT 55164 is not a backwater, in that there are a few stations scattered around, but boy howdee are there pirates! And I landed a tough one when I invaded his sacred hunting grounds around NLTT 55164 B’s rings. I figured the rings would be a good place to hunt for dead drops, but I forgot for a moment that it is also a great place for Pirates to pick up ore-haulers. He really didn’t care if I wasn’t hauling ore or not (more on that momentarily). He just laid into me with his fancy lasers and sent me scrambling for a quick exit.
Praise the Maker for those stations scattered around; a quick visit to Kafka and I was back in action, and this time I hit the jackpot. Not one, not two, but three lovely dead drop cans. I popped open the cargo scoop, and … uh …
CARGO HOLD FULL
I had forgotten that previously I had found and pillaged four cans full of Blueprints on my way to Trevethick, and since Trev didn’t have a fence hanging out, I still had the damned things in my hold. No room for those comm cans! But at least I knew why that pirate was so damned excited about bouncing me.
Slinking back to Kafka, I dumped them for a solid 12K (guess that pirate was on to something) and returned to the scene of my previous discovery, only to be confronted by a member of the Rebels picking up the goods, and offering me 1K to turn around and walk away. Peering warily at my sensor readout, I wisely took the cash and headed back to Trev to make the walk of shame.
The Board was even worse after that, and the only people that would even talk to me were some folks connected in no obvious way to the Feds asking for me to go one system over and take out a few traders to make the natives restless. Feeling like a real heel, I took the offer and sleazed my way to LHS 546 with murder on my mind and moderate profits in my future.
I smelled a set-up when I found my first trader; an actual Cobra with absolutely no shields and the most pathetic set of pea shooters I’d seen since … well, since I got my first ship. He went down quickly and painlessly. My suspicious were confirmed when I found my next one, and he turned out to be a tough customer; he offered me a choice – get pulverized, or forget the deal with the Feds, take 10% and meet him at Merbold Ring in EQ Pegasii. I decided that was probably for the best. This was a stupid mission anyway. And it beats getting vaporized.
Merbold Ring was deceptively big – one would rightfully expect all forms of goods and services here. But the Board was somewhat bare, and it was the damned Feds wanting me to go after The General again. Eff that.
But they had a Class E gimbaled Beam laser in my price range! I was busted down to 30K after that, but one of my two lasers was now a lot more to be reckoned with. Maker knows what it was going to do to my power distro box, but the only way to find out was to see it in action.
Since there wasn’t much of anything there, I dead headed in the general direction of Tau Ceti (!) and made stationfall at a relatively obscure outpost, and after a brief glance at a promising Board, snuggled in for a night’s rest and repair.
These smaller stations are a hoot to land at. Landing at a station with an internal landing bay, you’re always guaranteed to be facing the right way when you land, unless you do something stupid. The outpost stations generally only have one to three pads, and they’re generally external, and you end up approaching the damned things from all sorts of odd angles. You can always spot the rookies at these stations. They end up coming in from the wrong direction, and then just hover while they yaw around 180 degrees or so in order to line up with the landing umbilical.
Someone’s that been at it for a while has a somewhat less excruciating way to correct – I call it the loop-de-landing. For example, I might end up coming in 180 degrees out of alignment, so I just flip the ship end for end, then roll, and presto, all lined up.
I used to dread landings. Now I’m putting flourishes on it. Let’s see one of those 100,000-credit landing computers do that.