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  1. #1

    Logbook of CMDR Tufty

    My name is CMDR Tufty, or, if you want my full Galactic document ID:- TP_Tufty
    And this is my story….

    LOG ENTRIES

    From then until now... Aug 3303

    The Children of Raxxla - Aug 3303

    How to make friends and influence people - Aug 3303

    A Hot Vacation - Aug 3303

    The Molluscs Mystery - Aug 3303

    Unexpected Visitors - October 3303

    Out of the Frying Pan - October 3303
    Last edited by Tufty; 10-30-2017 at 13:14.

  2. #2
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    From then until now... Aug 3303


    “My name is CMDR Tufty, yea it’s a handle, my real name is…
    Wait , I don’t know you too well yet , so we’ll just leave it at that for now eh?
    Tufty? Well its the way I like my hair, simple as that my good sir.”


    I was born in 3247 in the Corycia star system, way, way, away from the creation system Sol, much further out in the spiral arms.
    Its a Fed aligned industrial system, and I first opened my eyes to Paez Hub, a landside planetary port on Corycia 4, a high metal content world, 34 Ls from the one central 'K' class star.

    My dad was a hard working average guy, kicked out from the mining industry and associated community that was based on the nearby Lasswitz hub world, when times got tough economically, and the Progressive Party of Corycia starting flexing its muscles. Job losses and forced migration had become a norm.
    He resettled at Paez Hub, and met, and then partnered my mum, an admin clerk for the local import export logistics company Squid industrial Corp.
    He was punching well above his weight I can tell you. I remember her dark hair and green eyes gazing down at me.
    She managed to get him a loaders job in the space port, which gave them a steady but frugal income.

    Only viable for a one kid licence, so that’s why how I made my entry to the world.

    My childhood was like any other working class kid, basic education, basic grades, basically bullied by the bigger more affluent kids most of the time.
    Soon as I could, I got a job in the local ore refinery, and moved out to the ‘stacks’ a slum of stacked old freight containers, ‘re modelled’ into basic habitation pods. It was a shithole, but cheap, and it was my own.
    Nothing against my parents, but I had grown up a bit of a loner, and wanted to scrape out a living for myself. All of sixteen I was, and I’d got a break by getting an apprenticeship through the local workers union, helping disadvantaged, read poor, families.

    That was it for several years, learning to grade and test ore, learning to operate and use the anti grav trucks to shunt the ore around, then finally learning to fly the little ‘Sidey’ personal admin craft between surface settlements and the outworking mine heads on the planet. I fell in love flying, and hoped I could put myself forward for ‘official’ pilot training and off world licences, but it was not to be at that point.

    Close to my 24th birthday, I was in a mining head settlement minding my own business, walking down a transport corridor, when some dozy Joe operating an anti grav cart , lost control of it whilst playing with his PA tablet, probably gaming, and it ruptured a liquid Nitrogen carry pipe. Next thing I know my left leg is solid and white, and then, before my very eyes, it shatters into a thousand frozen flesh shards.
    Blackness fell over me.
    Now, no way the Medi booths could fix that, so I gained possession of a battered, second hand matt metal alloy leg with basic actuators, standard charity issue.
    This stopped my official, even non-official flying career dead, the rig was so crude that when flying, all I did was fly in a circle, constantly fighting my leg from stamping on the yaw axis.
    But hey, I was alive.

    I got a payout from the mines benevolent fund, but took to drinking and gambling. My live was going downhill.

    “Hey, I don’t know why I’m telling you all this, sure I’ll have another tube of beer mate, kind of you sir.”

    Anyway, some dark day in 3273, or 74, after another wasted day drinking and gambling, I was leaving the local cat house back door, when I fell upon a guy being beaten senseless by a couple of masked low lives.
    Now I aint no hero, but two on one aint good odds, so I waded in propeller arms pumping, and my tin leg a kicking.
    Well I must at least have looked the part, cos the two scattered after a bit of a kerfuffle, but not after they had skewered the poor guy with a blade in the chest.
    Well, he was done for, and as the dark Reaper came to take him, (Funny, not sure how that name came to me),
    he started to ramble about being a follower of one ‘Salami’ or ‘Salome’ or someone, and thrust his papers and comm tab into my hand, telling me to leave and follow the path into the dark and black.
    Well he passed, and as I heard the local constabulary sirens a coming, I did a runner back to my digs.

    His papers were off world licences and ownership documents for a good old Sidey Sidewinder utility craft,
    the very, and only, type of spacecraft I had ever sat in, and I could actually fly the basics in!
    His name turned out to be one CMDR Wren, and the craft was docked at Paez Hub right there and then!

    Well, he looked nothing like me, in fact his skin colour was a direct opposite to mine, but hey, never look a gift horse in the mouth.
    A bit of theatrical aplomb, and I had blagged my way into his craft and was taking my first trip into the void, well OK, Piper Hub anyway, the local Coriolis hub in system.
    I registered as an off world visitor and started my dazzling career amongst the stars - Not!
    I upgraded my tin leg to one that didn't self harm, and flew straight, and began a trader's path.

    20 and then some more years later on, I had still had the same Sidey, its FSD only good for a few light years jump. I had traveled the length and breadth of the nearest star systems only, hauling freight and stuff from hub to hub. Always keeping clean and dealing clean, Mr Reliable, Mr Inconspicuous, Mr Boring!
    I kept my head just above surface water.
    But at least I was amongst the stars, and that filled my soul with contentment, or so I’d tell people. But in truth it didn’t.

    I was fed up of the rules and regs and general autocratic crap the Federation were dealing out. But let’s face it, the pompous, egotistical imperials were not a valid alternative either. I felt apart from everyone, and every type of officialdom, but what could I do? I longed for better, anything better. I had a big hole wanting to be filled with stuff, I don’t know what, adventure? Excitement? A cause?

    After all that time, the comm tab of the late CMDR Wren had never received a call, but suddenly, one fine day it did.
    It asked ‘Me’ in a text format, from an undisclosed comm tab to meet in a bar on Wright Vision, an outpost in a nearby star system called Miribusha.
    What should I do, try and blagg it again? Had the contact physically met Mr Wren?
    The hell with it….I went.

    Awaiting me was a lovely gal called CMDR Violette Guo, with hair the same colour as her name. Thankfully she had never set eyes on our poor CMDR Wren , so I was able to pass myself off, telling her I preferred my other handle of CMDR Tufty, cos of my hair. The late Wren had just been recommended to her, she being after a pilot.
    She was looking for an ‘Invisible Mr Grey‘ sort of guy, to pilot her Diamondback Explorer out on a long trek to search for Earth like worlds, alien ruins and ancient artifact's, mysterious beacons and outposts, and other fantastic things out there in the galaxy the she had heard of but not seen, and certainly I had never seen. She wanted a guy who would not have a loose mouth, and one who would be paid well. Sounded a bit wacky at first, but man , what a break for me.
    I put on all the charm I could muster and in spring 3301 we set off on my adventure of a life time.

    Well, not to bore you with any more info than needed, we went from system to system, thousands of light years month after month, time just seeping by as we chalked off the sights, the credits suddenly pouring into both our coffers. She also let slip she had an incurable disease, and so this was her ‘Bucket list’ of sorts. One last fling before the end.
    Needless to say I became smitten, and we became friends, and then lovers and partners in exploring the void.
    3300 arrived, then 3301 which then became 3302, and then 3303, we were lost in an adventure to fill the emptiest soul.

    I can’t remember how it happened exactly, maybe we heard something on Galnet, but she then mentioned the aforementioned Salome (thankfully not Salami after all), and then told me the tale of the injustice and plight that had befallen the Ex Senator in the coup in her home system. And then the rumours of cover ups, mis directions, the talk of galactic mysteries, of a group trying to control the fate of humanity, of a mysterious planet out of time. Of an alien menace of childhood stories being not fiction but fact. How she had followed the hints and whispers.
    So CMDR Wren may have been part of that! Who now knows?

    Oh! how we dreamed together of being a part of those discoveries, of contributing to a better galaxy, and thwarting the plans of the nameless, nay demonic forces manipulating all that humanity does.
    Then in May 3303 the announcement that Salome had been tracked down and slain in the Arumclaw system on 29th April by a mercenary called ‘Besieger’.

    We wept that night. Although we had never been a part of any of that tale in truth and deed, something good had been taken from the galaxy, and I felt that loss profoundly.

    A month later, the love of my live, Violette passed from this world, and I sent her into the stars on her last voyage alone.
    In the days before she left me, she spoke of a group that followed Salome, a group that was part of her story, a group that is even now uncovering the veil over the truth.
    She said she had been looking for them all along.
    They are called ‘The Children of Raxxla’.
    "Go to HR 6421 star system... Find them for me..." in her last breath.

    I also want to find them and be a part of the truth. My heart is one with the void now, and I wish to protect that void from the evil of those Humans who think they are in charge,
    and think they can control everything, even other lifeforms. I wish to…..

    “Well I wish many things Sir.
    And That brings me to today my friend, if I may humbly call you that.
    After all, I have heard that you are a man of influence …. CMDR Karnath.
    Can you help me find, and then join The Children of Raxxla?
    I believe you have the right contacts?
    I pledge my remaining years to their cause…..”
    Last edited by Tufty; 08-23-2017 at 19:50.

  3. #3
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    The Children of Raxxla - Aug 3303

    CMDR Karnath nodded gravely.

    “I understand you brother, and that need you feel in your soul, in your very essence.
    I will see what I can do, but it is a path that does not come easy to some.
    You will sacrifice all. You will be shunned and outcast by all but your comrades, who themselves will always be aloof.
    Your life will be a lonely one.
    But you will become fulfilled, by deed and by honour, IF you are accepted”


    We parted and I waited in my habitation pod in Serebrov Terminal – HR 6421
    Home of The Children of Raxxla.

    The passing few days felt like an eternity.
    I spent my time liquidating my exploring assets, and investing them in a used Asp Explorer, kitting it out for multi role
    work.
    Improved FSD, power plant and Distributor, cargo and passenger facilities, scanners and weapons.
    I reckoned that, as I did not know what was coming, I would need Explorer, trade, Taxi, and escort capability.
    It was however was a garish ‘Golden’ colour, a bit ‘Bling’ for my taste, but, what the hell, it might grow on me.
    She certainly had been used, and a bit neglected, and upon receipt, was difficult to trim out for straight and level flight,
    It yawed and rolled a bit when the controls were in neutral, and at first I tended to overcompensate, so to an observer, it wobbled and limped along like an old beast of burden.
    I named her ‘The Wonkey Donkey’.

    I even upgraded my prosthetic leg, to one that had ‘motor enhancements’ and a direct neural feed.
    I rekoned the extra power might come in handy someday, maybe in a galactic hopping competition!

    HR6421 is a beautiful system, the purple ringed gas planet a superb backdrop to the station.
    I was gazing on that vista when my comm tab vibrated and told me I had a text message.

    Welcome Cadet, Increase your rankings by taking jobs for the Children in HR6421 and affiliated systems.
    We will be in touch again at the appropriate time.

    I had been accepted, at least as a Cadet!

  4. #4
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    How to make friends and influence people - Aug 3303

    To say I was stoked is an understatement, a Cadet, me!
    I hope Violette was looking down favourably on me.

    So I headed off to the ‘Twenty Thousand Mile High Club’ bar, and put my ear to the ground.
    The Children of Raxxla have a 67% overall Influence in HR6421, sounds healthy, but things can easily turn,
    and there is constant friction with the next large party, The L.O.S.P which has 22%.
    Both parties are currently in a boom situation, so jobs should be relative easy to pick up, or so I was hoping anyway.

    The overall feeling of the bar ‘residents’ seemed to be that the best money was in either bounty hunting, or passenger transportation. Mining was possible but a lengthy operation, even though the Purple Mama of a ringed planet in system had plenty of metallic ring structure.
    Trading was, well trading, a bit fickle and dependant on the markets and demand.
    Now, apart from knocking off tin cans with a low watt beam gun planetside as a kid, I had never fired a weapon before, the mining company Sideys I had flown had all been stripped out of weapons.
    Violette had been strictly anti-violence, so we had never messed around with weapons out in the black either.
    So, No chance on the bounty front then, I wouldn’t last two minutes in a fire fight. (Mental note to self to get some training done out on the public training range when credits allowed.)
    I had tooled up ‘The Wonkey Donkey’ with a couple of gimballed beams and a couple of multicannons for defense use, but to be honest I was still **** scared of using them. The fire buttons on the hand controller were well shielded to prevent in adverdant use, and boy I was glad about that. I was hoping that if any problems occurred, the gimballing would do most of the work for me, until I managed to jump out of trouble.

    So, taxi work seemed the logical choice in the short term, I had fitted a couple of 4 man economy berths to get started, and I signed up as 'available' with the station system's Taxi listing and waited for trade. I was well versed now with multiple FSD jump flying, so I was hoping to get some 'several hundred light year round trip' jobs as an ideal.
    ‘There and back in time for tea’ as the used to say.

    I didn’t have long to wait.
    Last edited by Tufty; 10-29-2017 at 15:18.

  5. #5
    CoR Sword Tufty's Avatar
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    A Hot Vacation - Aug 3303
    I didn’t have long to wait….

    My comm tab buzzed again, and invited me to a private chat room session with a potential client.
    I selected my ‘Professional’ Avatar for use for this,
    (Not as Tufty hair as normal, clean shaven, and wearing a smart grey one piece non-descript ‘uniform’).
    I dialled in the session code and password.
    The chat room manifested as a generic office meeting room layout, desk and a couple of chairs, utility furniture.
    On one side of the desk, the chair was filled with a standard admin Avatar, similar to my own, a Mr Grey model.
    He of course was viewing my Avatar in return.

    “CMDR. I have a very important client, and three personnel who require a quick, efficient, ‘professional’ service to
    two different locations. You have been put forward by the local faction as trustworthy.”

    His Avatar eyed me up and down.
    I smiled politely, and also crossed my fingers under the virtual table.
    “Please transport our Lady Stella Marquez to Col 285 sector RF-C B14-7 system, and then on to Chi Orionis system.
    You need to leave within the next few hours, and complete the job within 12 hrs.
    You will be paid 2,0589,524 credits upon return to HR6421.
    All necessary documentation and personnel manifests have been provided to your ships data bus.”


    I had my data pad do some quick math. Col 285 sector RF-C was 98 Ly, with Chi Orionis another 171 Ly, then return of
    146 Ly back here. Total 415 Ly trip. Around 17 jumps for ‘The Wonkey Donkey’
    All doable in 12 hrs including stop off time for souvenirs.
    I agreed terms, sent account details, and the session ended.

    I accessed the Asp’s data bus, and looked up the stop off points in detail,
    Tourist site ‘Hot Jupiter’ in the Col 285 sector, nice scenic spot if a little bit hard on the shield generators,
    but then somewhere a little odd for the second stop off.
    ‘Chairman of Metadrive Inc memorial beacon’ in Chi Orionis. Not your usual visitor spot.
    I remembered this dude’s passing about a year ago , so I pulled up the data from Galnet..


    ‘Galactic News: Chairman of MetaDrive Inc. Passes Away
    23 SEP 3302
    Sad news from the Chi Orionis system this morning with reports that Femi Dakarai, chairman of the hyperdrive-research company MetaDrive Inc., has passed away following a short illness.
    Dakarai was taken ill last week after working tirelessly to secure financial backing for the company. Board members reported that he was working long hours and had been showing signs of stress for several months. An assessment of MetaDrive Inc. by an independent auditing firm appears to have been the final straw.
    "We should have acted sooner, but we were working extremely hard," said Rosaline Merden, company secretary. "With the company set to deliver on some very exciting technology in the coming year, it's particularly tragic. We will carry on in his memory."
    Board members were quick to pay their respects, and according to unofficial sources have made a generous payment to the Dakarai family on behalf of MetaDrive Inc.’


    I know that Federation ships had immediately taken over the system, and were looking for a company employee in connection.
    All about improved hyperdrive software or something.
    Maybe she was a relative, or a board member of Metadrive, who knows, but, best keep an eyeball peeled.

    We departed 3 hrs later.
    The mark was a lady in her sixties, Grav chair bound, with three nondescript office suits in attendance.
    They got strapped in, and had no extra requirements, which was good. I let them know I would be scooping along the way, and not to panic at the ‘Star racing towards me’ view the external feeds would be showing them on route.
    I left Serebrov station and programmed the FSD for Col 285 sector RF-C B14-7
    4 jumps. As soon as we left Mass Lock and received the goodbye waveoff, I punched it.

    Jump, Honk scan, scoop, cool, next jump.
    The ritual was virtually automatic.

    I have to say, ‘Hot Jupiter’ was a good description.
    The planet was ID B1, a big gas orb, and in tight orbit around a Ruby red beauty, a few light seconds from the jump in beacon.
    It made for a great rush as we dove our way down the gravity well to the star, before ‘Hot Jupiter’ even appeared in the view.
    Had me going, never mind Madame Stella and crew in back, they must be gripping the G-couch arms in a death rictus.
    I did a show of coming to a stop 0.3ls from ‘Jove’, and yawed around to get the star front left, and the gas giant right hand side.
    The ‘Bling’ gold paintwork of ‘The Wonkey Donkey’ actually looked great, reflecting everything very nice - I might keep the paintwork after all.
    But the thing is, within 10 seconds of arriving, I was being told to go to the next stop. Funny, no time for viewing.
    Almost as if this was just a stepping stone, or add on to the real stop.

    Each to their own, another 7 jumps to Chi Orionis.

    Jump, Honk scan, scoop, cool, next jump.

    We hit the system, the beacon got logged and we had a 2 minute in system burn to get to it.
    It was close to a rocky lump of rock, nothing special, but there were a shed load of Fed’s about.
    Corvettes, Vipers, all with Security Service ID’s.
    I got hailed on nearing and initially brushed them off with the tourist story. Not offering any client name.
    I don’t think they were happy, but I pressed on to the beacon.

    Absolutely Nothing to see, Nada, zip.
    So whatever the reason to come here, it wasn’t for the view. But I don’t ask questions of paying clients.
    We waited over an hour here, circled by Fed flies, with nothing to look at. A hour of nothing compared to 10 seconds of beauty at the last stop. Very Fishy.

    I got a ‘bing’ to tell me to head back to HR6421, I was feeling vulnerable, so I slipped into supercruise and headed out system to get some clearance room.
    I started programming the FSD for the 6 Jumps return.

    Suddenly the Asp started bucking around and the klaxons began wailing, INTERDICTION ALERT.
    I grabbed the stick and did the snake shuffle, trying to keep the target in the HUD centre.
    The friendly yellow bars were descending, and the deadly blues were increasing fast, I was failing.

    We jolted back into normal space, shedding heat, and wallowing about.
    I turned FA off, boosted, and popped a heat sink to cool us down, then activated silent running.
    It wasn’t going to save us.
    He was heading straight at us. And he got us locked up with his weapons software.

    I booted up the systems again, flipped over and did a scan.
    It was a Viper, but with a private ID, could have been a fake transponder of course.
    He was wanted, and not aligned to a specific faction, a CMDR Eduard J Heathercroft.
    He had burst lasers on board and he was hitting me hard. I also felt the punch of kinetic rounds from a Multicannon
    as he made his first pass. Shields down 33%.

    I popped out my weapons. I had decided last minute to trade my Gimballed beams on the large hardpoints for turreted beams.
    They picked up the viper and starting engaging independent of my evasive manoeuvres.
    The rest of my hard points are multicannons, so I got myself in the gimbal limits and just kept blasting,
    using no Flight Assist pivoting to keep on target.
    He swung around and started another run.
    I did some old school barrel rolls until he again past me and I then flipped and stabilised to let the beams have a second crack at him.
    His shields melted, and I bore down spitting kinetic lead.
    20% 10% 5% hull then bamm! He was gone
    Thank you very much 113k credit bounty.

    I cleaned up the ships flight profile and checked in on the client, I was expecting a few harsh words,
    But all I got was a cool “ Thank you CMDR, please expedite our return”.
    Mmmm , had they expected some trouble?
    I punched the FSD and had an uneventful return to Serebrov.
    The client exitied with no further comment, but the bill was paid immediately and without fuss.

    So a ‘Hot Vacation’ in more ways than one for my first job on the Cadet books.
    But some money in the bank and some reputation gain for CoR
    Hope I did OK for a cadet.

    Until next time CMDRs...
    Last edited by Tufty; 10-29-2017 at 15:22.

  6. #6
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    The Molluscs Mystery Aug 3303


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    THIS LOG HAS BEEN HEAVILY REDACTED BY CoR SECURITY.

    I awoke with a stinking hangover.
    I had celebrated my previous exploit heavily the previous night, on the local cheap brew that I am sure was just distilled hydrocarbon fuel.
    My comm tab informed me of a received message.
    I looked at it and sobered up real fast.
    Another message for my mysterious mentor.

    “Go immediately to PLEIADES SECTOR XX-X XX-X and await further instructions
    You will need cargo space, the more the better, and expect EVA planetside activity”


    ‘By my Ancestors’, the message was already 3 hours old.

    I assessed the modules on ‘The Wonkey Donkey’.
    After the last jaunt, I did not want to skimp on the defense capability; I am the first to admit I still suck at combat.
    I never did get to that weapons range training.
    However, I could of course ditch the passenger modules into storage.
    I also might need the full scanner suite, so I’ll keep them.
    I might also need the SRV loadout as well – Planetside activity !!
    In the end, I freed up enough for 16 tonnes of cargo space, and submitted clearance papers.
    I got a takeoff slot for 50 mins away, enough time for a shower and a soy burger.

    The FSD needed a XX jump route programming, so again the ritual
    Jump, Honk scan, scoop, cool, next jump.
    I flashed in to existence in Sector XX-X XX-X and waited.
    It was a big, pretty but unremarkable system, X suns, XX rocky planets and XX gas giants.

    I didn’t wait long, How did they know? Am I being tracked?

    “ Go immediately to Planet XX and land at planet coordinates Latitude: XXX.XX X.XX Longitude: XXX.XX
    Obtain the materials XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX as many as you can carry. Return to HR 6421 Serebrov at haste.
    Protect the cargo at all costs, if in doubt - self destruct”


    ‘By my Ancestors’, Self Destruct! Whaaaat!!

    The targeted planet was a 72Ls hop from the entry beacon so I entered supercruise and aimed for the blob.
    Up close it was the usual beige rocky world, no atmosphere and plenty of impact craters.
    I juggled myself around in orbital cruise to get me over Latitude: XXX.XX X.XX Longitude: XXX.XX
    And found myself gliding down to a large sinuous valley, down, down, my goodness, I’m landing on the valley floor itself!

    I secured ‘The Wonkey Donkey’ and prepped the SRV for an outing.
    All lights in the green, so I deployed the crawler, and started a standard spiral search pattern expanding out from the Asp.
    My she’s looks pretty in gold after all.



    I scuttled over a low rise and headed down it to a dip.
    I was not prepared for the sight !
    Some sort of XXXXXXXX structures reminiscent of XXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXX from the Creators world.
    The scanner classed them as XXXXXXXX structures too. ‘By my Ancestors’ this is incredible.

    My com tab buzzed.
    “You should now be in a position where you are wondering what to do?”
    I am defo being tracked, no way they can pre guess this.
    “Use SRV laser to shoot the XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXX then collect as many samples as possible. This completes the mission”

    I maneuvered into a firing solution facing the XXXXXXXX structure and fired.
    A XXXX XXXXXX detached itself and low grav coasted down to the surface. My scanner said ‘Mining Fragment’
    I scooped it up and repeated.
    My internal inventory now classed it as XXXX XXXX
    The SRV can only hold 2 tonnes at a time, so I returned to the Asp transferred the cargo.
    I rinsed and repeated 8 times to fill my 16 Tonnes then boarded the ship.
    The sun was getting low and the shadows were lengthening, a bit scary like,
    So I squared away for launch and boosted into orbit.

    I punched in the route for HR 6421 and engaged, comforting witch space enclosed me XX more times.

    I jolted into normal space with the familiar white star in front of me, and I 90 degree’d and blasted out of the regular shipping lane headed on a curved trajectory to Serebrov.

    INTERDICTION ALERT – Oh Not again!
    The Asp was veering wildly, but this time I was the real stuff, and I ended up evading easily.
    The new neural links, and power actuators on my left leg were paying off, I could use the one leg to control the yaw pedals
    with a far faster reaction time than before. Credits well spent.

    Uncharacteristically also, I was given priority docking, and my cargo was unloaded very very quickly.
    I am dealing with powerful people here, clearly.

    I was flabbergasted by the whole thing, what an adventure.
    I noticed my comms had a message from the station.
    'You are now allied with The Children of Raxxla'
    The perfect end to a day of wonder and excitement and discovery!

    What will I be asked to do next I wonder….

    Until next time CMDR’s....
    Last edited by Tufty; 10-04-2017 at 12:22.

  7. #7
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    Unexpected Visitors October 3303

    The past two months had been pervaded by the grind of keeping viable, and of increasing my reputation with
    Serebrov’s dominate local faction, and my new ‘family’.
    Passenger and small cargo missions around the neighbourhood became my working bread and butter.
    Doing my bit to balance and prevent conflict in the Children’s home systems – Umait, Bhottada, Daras, Fengita, Pokomovoi, and Khwatka mainly.
    Not many credits profit all in all, but enough to pay for the berth at Serebrov, the fuel and repairs, and keep food on the table.
    I had recently taken to trying expensive teas and coffees, upon the recommendation of one Cmdr Kai Calimara, an electronic bulletin board acquaintance. This took a far bit of my surplus cash, along with the endless ancient types of fermented liquids known as beers, that he constantly recommended. His knowledge is truly expansive.
    Way too many morning headaches over the past two months.

    Today was set up to be the same, a scan of the mission board, a negotiation over price, a few jumps around, but with many hours waiting for loading and unloading in between. Ah The life of a space farer.
    My fixed grin solely reserved for fare paying passengers was beginning to wear thin.

    My Comm Tab burped out a text only notification.
    ‘Get to a Holo booth and use iDent 154QJUY67#’
    The message was un-authored.
    Okaaay..
    Well, could be good, or could be bad, either way, worth chasing up I guess.

    I decided on a booth in a small cluster, on a corridor intersection of intermediate station ‘class’.
    Anonymous and discreet I figured.
    I secured the door and keyed in the iDent number.
    The space in front of me materialised a small circular table and two chairs.
    One was occupied by an avatar using a Scramble suit, so the ID of the caller remained unknown, there was just a human form of marginally lighter hue than the background, that popped and fizzed at the edges.
    I sat in the opposite chair, using my standard avatar, but with some new dark glasses that were on special offer.
    The avatar spoke with a deep, resonate, but artificial baritone.
    ‘Cmdr, You have proven reliable and efficient in your dealings with us. Welcome….. Child of Raxxla’

    I stifled an outburst, but in truth, did a bit of an excited wee in my pants – I had been accepted by them, accepted by the CoR – My new Life begins here, and now!

    ‘We need you to do some exploring, and report back what you find. Get a fuel scoop fitted, a planetary vehicle hanger, and also leave one utility slot free on your ship. Use a ship with a reasonable jump range, say plus 30 Ly, it’ll make things quicker. I will data burst the location when you are on route. Report back you what you find, soonest’
    And with that, he dematerialised and that was that.

    Mmmm, I was not sure of what was coming, so I decided not to use my AspX for this job, but ‘pawn’ it temporally to release enough cash for a nice and economical DBX rig in black finish.
    It is called ‘The Jack of all trades’, nice steady, solid job. I rigged it for a 32Lyr jump range, and equipped with advanced stellar and surface scanners, 8T cargo hold, good fuel scoop,
    and just a defensive weapon loadout of one multi-cannon and a seeker missile rack. That left a few slots free, but kept the weight down.
    I wasn’t figuring on bounty hunting!
    The utilities I loaded with heat sinks, but left one spare as instructed.
    The planetary vehicle bay had one SRV fitted.
    All in all I was a bit tight for power, so I altered the module priorities a little so I didn’t get a surprise if I had to deploy hardpoints.

    Next day I was prepped and ready, and received a data file in a format for import to the Nav computer.
    HIP 17125 system , planet A3A , coords Lat -65.8193 Long 48.8662.
    That was a distance of 376 Lyr from HR 6421, way out in the Pleiades Region.
    interesting things had been heard from in that region lately.
    I figured 12 jumps using scoopable stars.
    As I was programming the route, a grease monkey fitted a ‘black box’ in the spare utility slot, a present from my new family.
    And so I set off…

    Jump, Honk scan, scoop, cool, next jump,
    With the ship’s AI system ‘Astra’, counting down the jumps and warning me of temperatures as we skimmed the
    very breath of the stars themselves for fuel.

    I did the last jump, and arrived in system.
    A two star system, one white F, one yellow red K.
    I scanned the joint and picked out the third planet of the White star, a large ringed gas planet, harbouring water based life.
    It was 1118Ls from the entry point, so I Low waked towards it, until I got a blip on the scanner recognising the target world, a low grav, landable rocky body orbiting the giant.
    Yes, another beige delight.

    I eyeballed a trajectory to the approximate latitude, and barrelled in, ‘Astra’ switching to Orbital cruise when the planet filled the view screen. I reviewed the coords and levelled off,
    staying in orbital mode as I first swung to 0 heading to home in on latitude, then 270 heading to home in on longitude.
    I slowed and hit glide, heading towards a bland area with no large features.
    Down and down until I was less than 20 klicks away still nothing….

    Then…
    Holy crap, a crash site, but the vessel was like nothing I was immediately familiar with.
    Wait a minute, ‘By my Ancestors!’ I have heard of this shape of ship before.
    It’s one of Them..
    It’s a Thargoid ship!





    I nearly rammed the thing in my surprise, but regained composure and control, and landed half a klick to the west.
    Like a man demented, I jumped into the SRV, prepped, and deployed.
    The surface was fairly rock free, so I could put my put down and I floored it to within a few tens of yards.



    I tried a scan, but it would not come up with anything, strange, but then again, hardly surprising given the object.
    I concentrated on the visuals…. and then it hit me.
    This is not like the ruined ships shown time after time on Galactic Geographic HoloTv reruns.
    ‘By my Ancestors!’ this thing is fresh! , Its not been here long at all!
    They are back!
    The Thargoids are back in human space, Here and now!

    I re boarded ‘The Jack of all Trades’, and reviewed the Holocam footage.
    I had been given a dead drop data address, so I packaged the data, encrypted it and sent it in a hyperspace burst transmission.
    I figured it would still be a couple of hours before I would receive a reply, so I launched to low orbit and
    took a random heading for 500 kicks and set back down to wait.

    I could not believe what I had seen.
    While searching out CoR with my late wife Violette, this was exactly what we had dreamed of, exploration and alien discoveries.
    Oh how I wished we could have witnessed it together.
    I must have dozed off.

    When I awoke, the white star had dropped below the horizon, and it was pitch black outside save for the
    Infinite beauty of the starscape.
    Way out here in the galactic arm, looking towards the galactic bulge.
    ‘By my Ancestors’, what does the future hold now that They are back!

    The comms panel chirped a notification.
    ‘Proceed to PLEIADES SECTOR IR-W D1-55 and navigate towards the station ‘THE ORACLE’
    Mmm Two jumps away - 37.4ly, no problemo.

    I instructed Astra to clear the mass lock and engage the FSD drive, and we boosted three times before high waking out.
    I didn’t bother with the fuel scoop bit, and jumped straight to the target system, another white F type.
    ‘The Oracle’ is a station 3094 Ls away, so I looped around the star, and headed out.

    A couple of minutes in and the scanner ID’d new signal.
    It contemplated a second then classified it..
    DISTRESS CALL!
    All space farers dread that they would ever have to produce such a signal, and all space farers recognise that if they did, they would want someone to respond to it.
    So I locked on to it and a few seconds later I exited low wake.

    The ship bucked and thumped as pieces of debris hit the shields, I was in a debris field, a ship debris field.




    The whole space was shrouded in a strange green mist, and the debris was from a destroyed hulk of a vessel.
    I deployed my hard points and noticed that the ‘spare’ utility slot powered up as well.
    It was labelled Xeno scanner.
    What the heck? The ship had strange organic looking areas on it that were glowing and spewing out gas.
    I had a very bad feeling about this, and the hairs on the back of my neck prickled.

    Suddenly, the whole cockpit reverberated with a bone chilling klaxon sound that vibrated my very bones.
    It sent a chill to my very core, something primeval sounding, something race memory told me was something to run from, to run from Fast!

    I flipped off the flight assist and boosted flat out, rotating back to look backwards down my flight vector.
    My heart stopped beating for a second.

    Out from behind the wreck glided a metallic flower bathed in green light, its outline indistinct in a distortion of spacetime.
    It was a Thargoid ship, alive and powered, and I was still far too close to it!

    I boosted again then observed.
    The green light was emanating from fluorescing areas around the hull of the flower vessel.
    As I watched, a beam of light emanated from the Thargoid vessel , a beam that illuminated a small object close the wreck.
    The object began to move towards the Thargoid, It was a tractor beam of sorts I figured.
    I scanned the small object.




    ‘By my Ancestors’, it was an occupied escape pod, the alien was capturing it!
    I noticed that the Xeno scanner in my HUD now had a message underneath it ‘Out Of Range’.
    I also noticed that the usual graphic to display target shield and hull status has been replaced by a matrix of three digit numbers, strange, almost as though the scanner could not interpret the returned electromagnetic echo correctly.
    Maybe if I could manage to get closer without being seen.
    I boosted back towards the gliding Alien vessel, using the wreck for cover.
    Closer, closer, closer..
    The Out of range message disappeared, and the scanner began its sequence. 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10
    The scanner completed its sequence, and saved a data package to the ships computer with a ping.

    Then all hell itself let loose.
    The light fluorescing areas around the hull of the flower vessel, suddenly changed to a blood red colour, my ears were besieged with a blood freezing wailing klaxon.
    But that was not the worst.
    In an explosion of action, the flower ship gave birth to a myriad of projectiles, seemingly linked to the ship by luminous red threads.
    With ballet like orchestration, the swarm expanded from the Thargoid vessel and headed directly towards me.
    I was totally overrun.
    I quickly packaged the data from the scan and Holocam, and did another data burst transmission to my handlers dropbox.

    My defences were useless.
    My shields melted as if they didn’t exist, and the lightweight alloy of my hull began to vaporise before my eyes.
    Whatever manoeuvres I tried were ineffective, I was just outnumbered and out gunned.
    At least I had got the contact data away.

    I prepared therefore for the worst.
    I activated the emergency beacon, and powered up the escape pod, and grabbed my Remlok mask, as my canopy began cracking and my HUD scrambled and went off.

    My fate was now in the hands of my ancestors.
    I lost consciousness as the high G ejection kicked in, and my last thoughts were the memory of the tractor beam and the
    Escape pod being grabbed by the thargoid.
    Was this to be my fate also?

    Until next time CMDR’s..
    Last edited by Tufty; 10-29-2017 at 15:30.

  8. #8
    CoR Sword Tufty's Avatar
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    Creak..
    Tick…
    Tap…
    Tick…
    Creak…
    Light…
    Green light…
    My head was pounding, my vision blurred and indistinct.
    My throat dry, my nose blocked behind the Remlok mask.

    I can’t remember.
    Where am I
    Creak..
    Tick…
    Tap…
    The sound of warming metal.
    Metal warming from near absolute zero to that of room temperature.
    What do I remember… acceleration, G force, Green light… Green light..
    THARGOID GREEN LIGHT!

    ‘By my Ancestors’! I had ejected into space near a Thargoid warship.
    But I’m still alive.
    I realised the servo on my mechanical left leg was malfunctioning as it was actuating repetitively and I was kicking the pod wall.
    I did a neural reboot of my leg software, wiped the pod window with my hand, and peered out.
    I was not in space.
    I was in a ship.
    But what Race owned it!

    The green light was just LCD bay lighting…
    The pod opening sequence began, someone had activated the pod from outside!
    My mind threw images of alien tentacles and a quivering, slavering mouth at me.
    5…4…3…2..1..

    The pod door opened onto… a standard cargo bay format.
    What the… I was greeted by a drawling voice

    “ Well lookee here, lookee what the feline’s dragged in”
    I looked out on a bearded gaunt face.
    ‘Thank the Ancestors’, a human face!

    Over a warming glass of high proof alcohol, I was brought up to speed by my rescuer.
    CMDR Wiz Buckley, a long term hermit miner had been in sector when the Thargoid ruptured spacetime and appeared
    close to a donkey freighter on a standard run in system.
    The Alien vessel did not attack at first, but scanned the freighter and started to move away.
    But the freighter opened up with its defensive systems, either automatically, or by intent, and
    Unfortunately they then paid the highest of prices.
    My blood went cold, as Wiz told me how he had seen the Thargoid tractor beam in the escape pods of the freighters crew.
    With only a mining laser, Wiz could do nothing but observe.

    Then I arrived, and he recounted what I now remembered fully.
    “In the end boy, I snuck in at the last moment and plucked you in your pod out of the ‘goids grasp, cool as can be”
    “ I think you owe me one son”

    Indeed I did.

    Wiz was heading in towards the bubble, so I did a deal and he agreed to drop me off back at HR 6421 in exchange for help
    Getting the best deal for selling his ore (me being an old hand on the mining exchanges).
    He made a tidy profit, and I walked away with my life and a ticket home too.

    I hope the data I scanned and sent back to CoR was worth it!
    And in my mind, something kept plucking at me.
    The Thargoids had not attacked first, neither against me, or the freighter.
    The Thargoids had not attacked first..

    Until next time CMDR’s

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