One jump away from Tau Ceti, I was getting pretty desperate for some income, and I ended up accepting a courier mission in the wrong direction – to Ross 780. Just a bunch of junk, really, but it was precious to somebody, and the pay was decent, so I loaded up my hull and set out on my way.
Shortly after emerging from jump, I noticed a faint signal and investigated, only to find a couple of wanted criminals from the Silver Cartel just hanging out. I checked the scanner and decided to give it a try, figuring that if they both turned on me, I could jump out before getting pasted.
The new laser was pretty awesome! Two would have been better, but it was still awesome, to the tune of 4K creds for the bounty. Emboldened, I went for the next one, who put up a decent fight before bugging out.
Engaging my Swagger Drive, I swaggered on to my destination, and got jumped by a very annoyed expert sharpshooter from – you guessed it – the Silver Cartel. I managed to escape with 62% of my hull intact, which is still better than his little bro got off with, so nyah.
Action Ring defines “No” very strongly.
Not a ring.
No missions, either.
I could have dead-headed back to Tau Ceti to see if there was something in a more sol-ward direction, but I went on to Epsilon Eridanii instead. Legend has it that a fictional race in Earth lore called “Vulcons” were supposed to be from this system. No Vulcons. But the missions were shaping up.
Last time I took a mission to retrieve rebel transmission cans, I got pre-empted by some low-life that reneged on his counter-offer of 10% of what I was originally offered. This time, I not only found the cans, but also a few cans of Tobacco. I only needed three rebel cans, so I decided to schlep a can of the big T off to the black market for a grateful (underworld) population.
Yeah, I know. Deadly substances and all that. But I’ve already carted armaments, chemicals, and psychotropics at one point or another, so it should be acutely abundant at this point that my moral compass points a bit to the south when it comes to encouraging the Nanny State.
The good news was, the feds liked it so much, they gave me a gedunk mission to find another dead drop right there in e. eridanii. 8K easy money, even if there weren’t any more illicit combustibles floating about this time.
E. Eridanii was part of a constellation that Earthers called “The Swan”, meaning they could see this star from their shores. So, in theory, one of those specks of light out there right now is the actual Sol.
In the Big Black, there are good days and bad days. This one definitely landed on the “good” side of that equation. I didn’t die, I didn’t get hulled, even after cheesing off a major cartel. And I got enough scratch together to upgrade the ol’ can.
Looking at the Board, I decided to call it a day when all I saw was a bunch of sub-1K courier jaunts. If that’s all that’s left in a day or two, I’ll pick the most sol-ward one and try not to weep until the hatch closes.
So I’ll kill some time and get some work done on the crate. It’ll be a day or so for the mechanic to finish working on the power plant, but at the end of that work, she promises I’ll have a Class B plant with 10% greater output than I’m toting right now. I’m down to blow 10K dosh now, but I’m starting to feel pretty good about my ship.
Sol’s close; I can almost smell her shores from here.