“Sometimes you have bad shit happen, other times you have the devil’s luck.”
ANSASOS SOLAR SYSTEM
Security teams moved into fighting positions within the sprawling hangar of Barataria Bay, my corporation’s Fortizar-class citadel. I stood in the doorway that led to the corporation offices waiting for the lone Thorax-class cruiser that had been granted access to dock despite normally strict docking restrictions. I held a plasma rifle in a low ready position as the vessel moved into its final position before powering down. I held my hand up signalling the security teams to “hold” as I stepped forward into the hangar. The crew access hatch opened, and a man with a similar build to myself with long hair and wearing a black duster stepped out from the vessel. I lowered my rifle and let my hand rest down by my side. “Ferris fucking Lex,” I said with a smirk, “How the fuck have you been?” He looked around, knowing that if he had been a hostile entity, the hostilities wouldn’t have ended well, “Not too bad for an honest pilot. Looks like piracy has been treating you well.” I chuckled and motioned for Ferris to follow, “Well, piracy is treating me well enough. But the honest work of a lot of my alliance pilots is what brought this dream to fruition.”
I guided Ferris to an office door bearing the logo of Order of the Shadow and stepped inside, motioning for him to have a seat, “So, what brings you out to the ass end of the empire?” “Never one for small talk,” Ferris said with a broad grin, “Well, I have a score that you might be interested in.” I reached over to my desk, and pulled the pack of cigarettes from the top drawer, only to pull one from the pack with my teeth and set the pack down before lighting the cigarette that now hung loosely from my lips, “I’m listening.” “Well, if you remember well enough, that freighter of yours had a sister ship,” Ferris said, reaching into his coat, only to retrieve a small data chip and then place it onto the reader on my desk. I was skeptical, as I had heard the distress call that The Devil’s Luck had sent out the night she was lost. The reader displayed a holographic image of a badly damaged Obelisk-class Freighter and a set of coordinates. From the look of it, the ship was sitting in the hangar of a derelict station, “There is no fucking way this is real. I heard that ship fall under attack, and the distress calls didn’t sound too promising.” “Well, apparently there was a passing Federation patrol that didn’t take too kindly to their pilots being attacked, even if they were pretty far into enemy territory. A report got generated, and then was summarily destroyed, the entire incident being purged from the in-flight recorders of those ships,” Ferris continued. I looked at the coordinates, “That thing is stuck in the Black Rise region on the far side of Tama. That entire area is a war zone,” I said, rubbing the stubble on my chin. Ferris snickered, “Well mate, if you think you can’t get in there and figure out the fate of the ship, I guess I could hire someone else. But I know you always managed to get me out of some tight spots back in the day.” I considered the ramifications of the proposal, “What’s the angle?”
Ferris laughed, “I was hoping you would ask that. The original superstructure of the ship was pretty much slag, and there are a lot of disgruntled personnel that have been stuck out there for quite some time. On the up side, the ship has been retrofitted, and they almost have the jump drive online. So it’s been converted to an Anshar-class. The problem is, they don’t have anyone that can pilot one, and they only want someone that they can trust.” “So we’re basing this on my reputation, and they’re operating on an assumption,” I replied, rapping my knuckles against the side of my desk. “Exactly,” Ferris replied, “However, most of these guys are rogues, so there’s no telling what the hell they’d do to someone coming to help them. So I’d recommend taking a small task force out, and then board the ship with an armed boarding party, clear out anyone who plans on putting up resistance, and then taking the ship.” “You want the ship for yourself,” I inquired, “Don’t you?” “Absolutely. However, I’m more interested in the cargo, as there is some pretty decent hardware in there that could fetch a nice price on the market, or increase effectiveness of capsuleer vessels in the right hands,” he replied, “and I’m willing to split the cut with you, just like the old days.” “You’re going to have to make me a better offer than that, as your idea of splitting the cut cost me repairs on multiple ships, and several good men,” I retorted. “Fifty percent, equipment provided, crew provided,” Ferris said flatly.
“I’m in,” I replied.
TO BE CONTINUED