Predator, Prey

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La Soeur du Dan, Riedquat

For such a big station, the outfitter here was a shambles. Figures. I have 50K burning a hole in my pocket, and nowhere to spend it. Pointing towards Lave, I headed out.  Stopping at the next port, I upgraded my 2nd laser to a gimbaled Type E, dropping the coffers dangerously low. I was sure I could build it up a bit in a jump or two, so I kept going, keeping an eye out for promising signals.

I found one two jumps away, and it turned out to be bad news, as four burly starships unleashed Hell’s fury on me. This time I wasn’t as lucky as I’d been in the past.  In a heartbeat, 50K worth of navigation data was lost to the Big Black, and I ended up having to go into debt to restore my equipment in the new ship.

Broke, almost dead, and very angry.

Patterson had a few new missions of the dead drop retrieval variety, so I set about filling my pockets again. Almost immediately, one of the signals I investigated turned out to be a scrub looking to make a name for himself.  I engaged, pressed my advantage, and he ended up dumping his cargo before he got blown up.  Lucky me, lots of liquor and tobacco floating around out there.  The downside: I was supposed to fill my holds with dead drop cans. 

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Here’s where freelancing offers choices.  In the same system were two or three big stations that might have black markets that would take my illicit cargo, assuming the rozzers didn’t scan me on the way in. So I did some calculations and realized that I had time to take in the spoils here, drop them off, and still find the rebel cans and get them back to Patterson.  Filling my hull, I headed off to the nearest spinner.

This made me a prime candidate for pirates, and they were thick out there. Eventually I hit one that kicked me out of Supercruise hard, and then demanded I drop my cargo.

There’s an art to negotiating with pirates.  Tell ‘em you’ll give them 1/2 your cargo, get them to agree, drop the first can real slow like, and then wait for them to approach it and slow to pick it up. At that point, accelerate to max speed and boogie for supercruise. They then, too, have a choice. Pursue, and lose a sure thing, or take the single cargo can and be glad of the income.

This doesn’t always work, but it has a good track record so far. Your mileage may vary.

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