Had a rather disturbing encounter the other day coming into Isusle.
I'm running the Maorin Pass
route in Galaxy 2 towards Tiedis with several hundred kilos of gold and other oddments, having decided that after my last escapade around Zaria
that it would be best to lie low in that particular sector for a while. So having picked up a swag of lucrative contracts and a couple of passengers, Atomic Annie
set course towards the systems in the Qucedi Bottleneck
- an area that I'd never visited but from what I'd head could be a fairly profitable area to trade in. Most of the trip was uneventful, the most exciting thing being when I managed to max out Annie
s' 740 ton cargo hold for the first time
Anyway, I jump into Isusle, a TL 8 Anarchy system, and immediately get the warning from the system information beacon of "significant pirate activity has been reported". Not really a surprise in an Anarch system of course. I'd already engaged my targeting system to give any potential ship the IFF once-over, so after a quick scanner check I set course and engaged torus drive for the local Seedy Space Bar to sell a few dozen tons of food and liquor to the station management (and see if there were any cheap narcotics that I could flog off at the local station - hey, profit is profit).
For a while it was looking like Atomic Annie
was going to get to "Jakes Bar and Grill" undetected - then suddenly the Anaconda's torus drive got mass-locked and two unidentified blips appeared on my scope. I initiated standard procedure of throttling back my engines and bringing my targeting scanner to bear, ID'ing each ship in turn. A Python and a Sidewinder travelling in company, both with "Offender" status, as well as a third ships that I couldn't get an ID on... but all were appearing to be travelling in parallel with Annie
s' course. Now I have a passenger to drop off at Isusle so I'm not in much mind to pick a fight, so I decide to increase thrust and angle off from them a bit, being fairly hopeful that they'd miss me.
Yeah, right. As if a piñata of the spaceways would be worth ignoring!
The scanner IFF starts squawking red, and both scanner contacts start closing in on an attack pattern. I throttle back again to give myself more long-distance sniping range, and immediately engage the Python with my forward lasers, launching a hard-head missile at him before turning my attention to his little friend. Several bursts of laser fire finish the Sidewinder off, and I resume my attack on the Python who appears to have survived or dodged a missile hit. He gets a few shots in at me, but soon it's all over for him and the two red targets are now small clouds of white contacts. Bingo, scooping time!
I increase thrust towards the remnants of the Python and scoop up a few tons of alloys before deciding to leave the rest and get to the safety of the local station. Space Bar beacon is located, course set - and what do you know, I'm mass-locked. I restore the scanner view to 1:1 and discover no contacts. A visual check confirms I'm nowhere near the planet. Attempt to engage torus drive again - and I'm still mass-locked. What's going on?
I had my answer a minute later as laser fire erupted out of nowhere onto my forward shields, and as I frantically turned about I caught a glimpse of a Vampire coming straight at me, no doubt intending to avenge his comrades. Already the shields were dropping faster than Annie
s' energy banks could recharge, so I had to take evasive action - promptly losing visual contact with my attacker and discovering to my consternation that the bastard STILL wasn't on my scopes. How is that possible? Could a ship that small have a cloaking device?
No time for speculation! I hit the injectors and ran at full speed towards the Space Bar, jinking from side to side in a desperate attempt to let my shields recover, watching with growing dread as the shield and energy indicators dipped dangerously into the red before the hits on my rear quarter dropped away. Eventually I found that was no longer mass-locked, and with a sigh of relief, I engaged the torus drive. With no further incident I pulled into the Seedy Space Bar "Jakes Bar and Grill". Completed my trading, launched out and delivered my passenger to Isusle main station.
They said that my scanner must have been faulty, that it was a breach of space regs to have a ship with no IFF displayed and not even Fugitives would stoop to such a level... but my Chief Engineer swears that Atomic Annie
s' scanner is in tip-top condition. I know what I saw - or what I didn't see. And I barely survived to tell the tale.
There's a ghost ship out there, invisible and heavily armed in the north-west sector of Galaxy 2. Be warned.
Flying the Anaconda-class transport Atomic Annie
through Galaxy 2.
"Big ships take more booty on your interstellar flights..."