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Author Topic: Always Eat Your Vextables [Intro 11SEP15]  (Read 2543 times)


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Always Eat Your Vextables [Intro 11SEP15]
« on: September 11, 2015, 10:14:19 PM »

The first part of a man's story from privateer to a lesser Pirate Lord. This is not even one full chapter, just a dump for interest.

When Niklaus Vexirson had envisioned his end, this was not the way he pictured it.

The shields covering the front of the Indomitable, his Eagle-class cruiser, rippled and distorted with the occasional blast from the hostile Onslaught's Thermal Pulse Cannons. He knew that if the opposing commander had wanted, they could have blasted right through his shielding – his reactor was screaming at max capacity, the hard flux built up to somewhere around 80%, and as long as the shield stayed up the strain would remain. He also knew, though, that the enemy was as well aware of this as he.

“Pirate, we will say this once more: shut down your primary reactor and stand by to be boarded. You have precisely 30 seconds – make that 28, now – to comply.”

And what a compelling idea that was. Vexirson looked at his tactical map one more time, willing it to show something other than what it did. Nope, still the same thing – Onslaught at his twelve o'clock, two Dominators at roughly 10 and 2, and a smattering of smaller ships floating about, just daring him to try to make a run for it. And as for his own fleet – a fair dozen or so blue outlines of the ships he had so proudly commanded only an hour or so ago, their husks bleeding debris and their crews either dead or the next closest thing. There was the Innocence Lost, once piloted by his trusted second Jack Connolly, the Falcon-class light cruiser looking forlorn and lost amongst the wreckage of its enemies – but then, Jack had made his funeral pyre. His skill was phenomenal, and somehow he had managed to take down an enemy Eagle – its corpse dead in space at an oblique from his ship – before succumbing to the sheer, overwhelming might of the Hegemony fleet.

But neither Jack, nor any of his other subordinates, could have prevented this outcome. It was a futile battle from the get-go, but Vexirson had wanted to believe in his Vextables pulling off just one last miracle. Ah, Vextables. What a silly name. He could still recall his road to this moment – his first ship purchase, the time when the stupid name had been coined, all sorts of little events in his life. Memory lane... funny, how quickly that road can be traveled in the space of seconds.

_______________________________________________________________________________ ____________

Vexirson had waited nearly a decade for this moment. Long hours working at the shipbuilders' yard on Jangala had paid off, and he finally had the money he needed to buy a ship – a Lasher, that most ubiquitous of privateer ships, no less. He was determined that it would be 10000 credits – between the hull itself, weaponry, and supplies – well spent. Vexirson was far from the first person to drop a few thou' on becoming a starfarer, and would certainly not be the last, and like the rest of those dreamers he imagined himself becoming one of the most well-known names in the Sector, not to mention one of the richest. The real trick, though, was going to be actually managing to make the purchase.

The open market had no new Lasher hulls for sale, to his consternation. Instead, there were a few (D) models left in the catalog, but what would he do with a ship that was known to be defective, damaged, or some other d-word? Of course, he wasn't looking to go toe-to-toe with anything more dangerous than a Pirate-piloted Hound or two, which would be just as likely to flee him as fight, but at the very least he wanted a ship with enough reactor overhead to fit more than a couple light machine guns or something.

He pondered the display, unconsciously rubbing his chin with his hand. Even for his relatively modest price range, a [D]-Variant Lasher cost more than he could afford, and that was before he actually kitted it out... and paid the insane amount of overhead that dictated Hegemony tariffs. There had to be an easier-

“Hey, buddy!”

Jumping slightly, Vexirson turned to see an almost archetypically shady figure eying him. The guy fit every bad vid's image of backroom dealership – seedy expression, a frayed ensemble of clothing, and a too-obvious struggle not to look in every direction at once for the authorities. As he caught Vexirson's eye, he nodded.

“Yeah, you. Mr. Big Dreamer.”

“Do I know you?” Vexirson asked cautiously, already beginning to scan around for Hegemony officials himself. He had a feeling what this was leading to, but he still found himself unconsciously longing for the reassurance of the symbols of the powers that had controlled his life for several long decades.

“Not yet,” The man grinned, showing a surprisingly clean and well-managed set of teeth, “but I think you want to. C'mon, step into my office.” The character beckoned Vexirson towards an empty lounge along one side of the station's concourse.

The alarm bells began ringing immediately in Niklaus's mind. Smiling despite himself at the feeble attempt to roll him, he shook his head. “No thanks, partner,” he said as he turned back to the terminal, “but I don't-”

The man frowned at the dismissal, and then spoke. “Lasher-D with typical close-combat loadout. One LAG, two LACs, two LMGs, and a pair of Harpoon batteries.” He shrugged his shoulders almost apologetically. “I know the book says that this configuration does best with heavy armor bolted down, but my guys aren't exactly technical experts. I'm sure you could slap on a few more caps or vents, though.”

Vexirson slowly turned towards the man, intrigued despite himself. He took a shuddering breath, and asked the question he knew might change his life. “How much?”

“10 flat.”

He couldn't help himself – Vexirson's mouth drew into a grimacing smirk, and he chuckled to himself. The guy frowned at his response. “Yeah, okay, and I'm sure next you're gonna offer me a Mule for 30, right?”

“Is that an offer?”

It was Vexirson's turn to frown. Was this guy serious? “Look, buddy,” he said, but his curiosity in whether this weren't too good to be true made him keep his voice to a mutter so that the whole concourse didn't hear them. “I know you're trying to take me for a ride, but the hull ITSELF costs more than 10, let alone without a full loadout. So you'll forgive me if I doubt you.”

The man grinned. “That it does, you're right... unless you take the tariff out of the question.”

Vexirson's face locked into a neutral mien as what the man said rolled over him. “You know that's il-”

“Sure is.”

He paused, considering. An offer like this wouldn't come along every day, true... but if the Hegemony got word of this, he would definitely be in a world of hurt, even if only financially when they asked him to recoup their losses for the under-the-table sale. “How much damage are we talking?”

The seller screwed up his eyes, staring at the overhead for a moment. He held up his hand, and ticked the issues off on his finger. “I think with this one... both the main and burn drives are shot, so you're looking at something like three-quarters combat speed and somewhere around 1 'year a day. Power grid's also burned out, so it's got a flux limit of 14 – hundred, of course, not thousand – and reaches maybe 80 ticks of flux dissipated a second. Like I said, though, figure you tuck a few more vents and caps in there and you can rectify those issues quick enough, no sweat.”

Vexirson looked at the man for a moment longer with a flat stare, then found himself slowly reaching out his hand.

“You've got a deal.”
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 10:18:18 PM by angrytigerp »


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Re: Always Eat Your Vextables [Intro 11SEP15]
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 03:03:29 AM »

Cool, I like it. Go on, please.
The game was completed 8 years ago and we get a free expansion every year.

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Re: Always Eat Your Vextables [Intro 11SEP15]
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 09:12:37 PM »

Good writing, interesting read. keep on