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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21)

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Messages - necrophanton

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Fan Media & Fiction / Hegemony patrols are the worst
« on: April 30, 2020, 03:36:39 AM »
Hello there, I created this account to share a story that began as an exercise. It got good responses on the main subreddit, so I decided to post here for further sharing and documentation. Hope you people like it.

Feb 3, Cycle 209

Hegemony Patrols are the worst. Not because they roam around so proud of their law and order bullcrap, that I could shrug off. Not because of that Captain Lapis Ganymede that spit on my face “accidently” when they boarded us for an inspection, since my unlawful comrades have done worse deeds.

The thing is, it’s the second time I left Aztlan on an escape shuttle. Why are they always there when I’m finally about to make a buck? Why is that every time I’m that close from finally working something out, hid in Chicomoztoc’s Rings, they just show up? It’s like that spider-something superhero from Old Terra that could sense things. It’s like as if they sense me. And you know what the funniest thing is? They come right at us *** like hounds because we left our transponder offline. Of course its offline. We’re the shadiest fleet you can imagine, mainly poorly armed and trashed freighters, coated generously with rust. We’re no Hegemony high ranking politician personal fleet.

But this time it was worse. We decided to let them board us again, but that time we would take a high value hostage as guarantee to leave the system and even ransom him later to make some of my money back. They didn’t took too lightly being held at gunpoint. Of course they didn’t, they are the Hegemony. How dare you? We killed them and we lost tree comrades. And just like that, Hegemony ships started showing up from behind every asteroid and now I watch the sad remains of my fleet by the small window of my scape pod. I sat down, contemplating my state of affairs.

“I want a cruiser this time, Vacha. A battle-ready one.”

“We have no funds for one, Dana. Moreover, we would need some support. You know that, don’t you? Battle fleets require a whole new level of logistics.”

“We do, actually. I have a stock of transplutonics somewhere in Al Gebbar, our Pather guys kept it safe. I thought I could learn how to obtain its sub products, but never had the time.”

“But, we never fought before! Our man are used to loading and unloading cargo, maybe going for the quick run for the fringe jump point, but not facing other fleets head to head.”

“They will learn. And I have fought many times. Long before I had my own fleet. You see, everyone in our fleet is here for a reason. You stole a ship in Culann. Callisto beat up someone in a bar in Port Tse. Alysto refused to lick his royaltie’s boots in Westernese. Everybody is running from something. I just decided to not accept the status quo and try to change something.”

“We’re just drug smugglers, Dana.” Said Vacha, without hesitation. “ What would we even be fighting for?”

“We’re going to strike fear in the Sector’s superpowers. How about that? We’ll make the Hegemony think twice before enforcing their “law and order” upon the less fortunate. Anyway, let’s get a ship. Ships, actually. We go to Qaras. I have a buddy there, Intam Europa. We take one of his freighters and get things going.”

“We will need manpower. We barely had enough for one freighter. We might be able to man frigate, maybe.”

“Didn’t hear anything, Vacha? Everybody who is running from something is running to us. We’ll find man. They’ll come to us, as they always do.”

Feb 25, Cycle 209

“So, what do you think?” Asked Intam.

“That will do.” I replied, with no real trust in my own words.

We were both standing at the hangar entrance at one of Qaras shipyards. We were staring at my soon to be new cruiser, one of those classic mining ships converted to warfare used by pirates all over the Sector. It even comes with some mining drones, that might be useful, if we manage to get them going again.

“So how did you guys did it? That’s a pretty grim story.”

“He had to redo the armor in the front and in the back, near the engines. We took off giant panels on both sides and replaced’em. The thing is, the junctions between panels didn’t really fit, so we had to improvise new junctions with scrap metal from some salvaged sensor array. I would say she’s good to go, and will hold pressure for sure.”

“Cut the crap, Intam. We’re making a deal here. The armor is compromised, isn’t it?”

“You could say that. I would say it’s modified.”

The people here at Qaras call it “The Coffin”. Some cycles ago this ship were in a raid with a large fleet from one of our most extreme leaders among the outlaws, Vor Ganymede. They were trying their luck at Eochu Bres. When it was approaching the station, one of its guns, some beam of some sort, got it with the shields down and tore a hole back to back through the hull. The ones that didn’t melt instantly were sucked into space, since the whole ship depressurized. No one survived. The ship kept orbiting Hybrasil for months until Intam’s guys found it.

“I’ll take it. Anything else I should know?”

“The main sensor array might have some problems. It might glitch if the flux capacitor heats up, which might happen because we installed water coolers on it. Electromagnetic interference or something. The original nitrogen system was damaged during the penetration.”

“So, the flux capacitor might heat up and explode, the sensor array might go crazy and give our position away, and our armor might just give up and depressurize the ship? Anything else I should know, before I bury myself in my new coffin?”

“That’s a very pessimistic way of looking at it, Dana.”

“I’ll give you half of those transplutonics, it’s a fair price. She needs more repais, you know that.”

“I’ll do it for you” Intam said, with a large smile. He was more than happy to let that junk go and free some space in his hangar.” And I have a present for you. Come with me.”

We had to go through the landing pad to access Intam’s second hangar. That’s a smaller one, which he uses for frigates and fighters. The landing pad was under repairs from a recent raid, and people flooded it in a rush to fix it. Sure, Qaras can supply its own food and volatiles, but anything else comes from outside. And it’s a cold planet. So cold. At least we can breathe outside.

“Here we are, what do you think?” Said Intam, pointing at three bad looking frigates.

“We can’t buy these, Intam. We’re short on funds, you know that. We had to refund the last shipment we lost.”

“I said it’s a present, didn’t I? Come here, take a look.” He dragged me with him closer to the closest two frigates. ”You had those on your fleet didn’t you?”

“Yeah, I did.” Those are what we call Hounds. Never understood why, maybe because we can put a big gun on it and it goes barking out loud, while being mostly harmless.

“They might be a little rough on the edges, but the armor, the engines and the flux generator is working fine on ‘em. And this one-“ He said, pointing at the farthest ship of the three ”-That is a Wolf-class.” He said proudly. “One of those TriTach ships, you know, high tech stuff. And it’s in pristine condition, since it was stolen directly from Eochu Bries by one of our guys. How about that to help your fleet?”

“This is fine, really. But why are you doing this? Whats going on that you’re not telling me?”

Intam smiled. He’s a sixty-something, with a head full of gray hair and a gentle smile. I know he once fought for the Hegemony, but lost faith in politics after the Askonia Crisis. He had family in Opis, and happened to be on deployment when it all went down. He never told me that directly, but it’s evident that its true by his fierce hatred for the Diktat.

“Vacha told me what happened. I’m going with you, you know. I’m going with you. I believe you can do some good for this sector, Dana. And maybe a “Hegemony” officer could help you achieve it, hein?”

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