So I'm in this roughed-up second-hand Mining Transporter
-- but I treat her well, and she pays me back in kind, don't you worry -- coming back from tapping alloys out of the shells of ice
they've collected around themselves, in a small asteroid field around the inner orbits of Zaonce. Twelve tons of metal in my hold, and it's time to haul it back to the main station to dump my wares. 40 credits clean per ton aint nothing to sneeze at, not while the market's still asking for it.
I hit the torus back toward the main station, but kept my weapons activated -- sure, it slowed me down a bit
, but it had been a long day and I felt I deserved some time to myself. I popped up a kids' show I'd pirated off the 'net and leaned my chair back as the stars streaked past slowly in my peripherals.
So yeah, I was a bit ticked off when I lurched out of torus with a yellow dot on the front edge of my scanner. I gave a preemptive spit towards those FRICKING rich-jerk miners with their FRICKING fancy-as-all-heck Cobras that always steal my junk before I can pick it up (give 'em a warning shot across the bow and they back off, though. Heh.) Or worse -- one of those JERK KIDS with a fancy new Mk. III, test driving its pulse laser on MY FRICKING ASTEROID FIELDS. I SWEAR I'm gonna kill one of those kids someday. I've PRACTISED for it, even -- in the sims
, you know.
It was neither. Some Moray Star Boat, chilling for some reason off the beaten track. And she'd brought a Krait-friend. Whelp, time to detour outa their mass-lock range. I COULDA been spending this time paying attention to my show, but I guess I gotta keep an eye on the screens and navigate
or something. What a drag.
And then my status indicator turned red as they start fricking GUNNING for me.
TWO of them. FRICK. "Freedom for Zaonce! Payment for the Martyrs!"
Now, I have no beef with the rebels. God knows I hate getting stiffed by the Corporation's BS ~Docking Fee~ as much as any working woman, nor do I take too kindly being shoved into eighth-queue-slot behind a buttload of Purples who couldn't find the bay doors without a Docking Computer.
But this is My. FRICKING. CARGO.
And I am NOT a fricking piggy-bank.
I swerved wildly, weaving in and out to inch closer. If it worked in the sims, then MAYBE? I could hope?
I got close enough to chip at the Moray's paint with my mining laser -- the Krait opens up, and my view lit up in blue sparks as my forward shield struggled to dissipate five hits in as many tenths-of-seconds. A BEAM LASER? SERIOUSLY?
I switched targets.
I took two more hits coming in -- and boosted forward-and-down, dodging a missile from the Moray by the thinest hair -- then started tangoing at close-range with the Krait, like a pile of garter snakes in heat. Points to me there -- the time it took to realign between shots gave me enough time for my mining laser to cool for another shot, while her beam laser wasn't doing much more than a pulse with all the shots she could squeeze out. And the Moray hitting her partner half the shots didn't hurt much. That's what you get for firing off into a melee -- fricking rebel kids, all talk, no skill.
I drew sparks from the Krait, then pulled off one more shot and missed the third. And then my console beeped and my bucked lurched as the Moray's SECOND missile found home. I checked my status -- miraculously, all of my equipment functioning 100%, but my rear shield was down, energy banks drained, and that FRICKING B***CH HAD BLOWN UP ONE OF MY PLATES OF ALLOY
! MY! FRICKING! CARGO!
I squeezed off another shot into the Krait's spark-trailing engines, and she went up in flames. One down -- and the Moray was out of missiles.
My rear shield was shot, but the FORE -- weave and down, swerve and forward. Plug her and dodge, and keep. On, Coming.
She started sparking and tried to run. Another day I might've let her, but another day I wouldn't have had a SMOKING HOLE WHERE MY FOURTY FRICKING CREDS SHOULD BE.
One. Two. Three. Lined up and taken -- I've bulls-eyed splinters away from bullying Cobras at the same distance.
Final score -- Me and my Mining Transporter down one ton of alloys, 0.2 LYs of witchspace fuel, and some dents and scorch marks that I won't be able to scrub off of the Tardigrade
in a hurry -- and their Moray and Krait are two new burned-out scraps of over-confident steel floating halfway between Zaonce Astrum and Zaonce Prime.
I laughed the whole way home. Even through a dogfight with a Pirate Adder who didn't get the message:
... WHAT? You think I'm making this up? I swear to God it happened, don't you roll your eyes at me! Alright, get down here, we're headed to the sims, I'll SHOW you what I can-- no, I DON'T need to sober up first! You shut your mouth now, one more smirk and we'll take this dogfight outside, don't think I'm joking with you---