There & Back Again

An IDA Frigate's Tale

_This is my second story following the "real life" events of me and my ship the Indigo Star. Everything that happens in this story is inspired by how events actually unfolded as I made the journey to Kont and back in EV: Nova. The other stories in the series are as follows:

1. "So Much For Impartiality"
2. "My First Rescue"
3. "The Maiden Voyage of the Indigo Star"
4. "Good Intentions Lead To Bad Consequences"
5. "A Trap"
6. "There & Back Again, An IDA Frigate's Tale"
7. "Reunion" (very tentative title, will be released after the rewrite of There & Back Again, and after I find something in game to write about :p) _

Quote

As you look around the various vessels on offer you are tapped on the shoulder and turn around to see Rodney, the Sigma Shipyards representative.

"I have a mission of some urgency for you," he begins, quite seriously. "It involves traveling across most of the known galaxy, picking up a cargo that isn't strictly legal, and returning here.

"Before you answer," he raises his hand to forestall your reply, "be aware that you may well come under intense fire in a place far from where we will be able to help you, but also be aware that if we cannot trust you to take this mission, we cannot trust you with any of our more sensitive corporate secrets.

"Are you up for it?"

"Good," he relaxes, looking visibly relieved. "The cargo we want you to pick up is 20 tons of Palladium from the planet Kont in the Kontik system, which is in the far Southeast of Auroran space. The Aurorans won't be happy with you taking it to bring here, but that may be the least of your problems. Recently, some sort of pirate group has blockaded the planet, and none of our ships have been able to get through.

"Now," he continues gravely, "once you have secured the Palladium, you need to return here without being scanned by the Aurorans. If you do get scanned, you may as well dump your cargo and not bother returning here, as we will wash our hands of you. At the end of the day, we have legitimate operations in Auroran space that we cannot do without, and we are not prepared to risk those over a single shipment of Palladium

"Do you have any questions?" he asks, and you shake your head. "Good luck then."

Part I: The Perfect Ship & A Mission I Couldn't Refuse

My crew and I were celebrating at various locations all over the Kane Band. It had taken nearly five years of running cargo back and forth, making brief runs to Auroran space, and seeking out some of the most exotic and expensive technologies available throughout the galaxy. The Indigo Star has a potent array of medium blasters and Auroran made fusion pulse cannons, heavily enhanced shielding and armor, excellent antimissile defenses, and in a few more days would have the ability to launch three Thunderheads, perhaps the most powerful fighters I'd ever seen. Little did I know that I'd soon get to put the Indigo Star, and my crew, through the endurance test of a lifetime.

It all started on the Kane Band in Kane's Lubritorium, one of the most widely known space port bars in the galaxy. A few of the younger crew members wanted to go see the fancy new ships that Sigma Shipyards had on sell. While I had my dream ship, I agreed to go with them, you never know what you might see, and just because I'd completed my ship didn't mean I couldn't lust after some other ships as well. It wasn't too long after we arrived in the very nicely decorated Sigma ship gallery that I lost track of the "kids" I'd brought up here. I suppose it’s a sign that you are getting old when you call those in their early twenties kids. I was admiring the view of an impressive looking Starbridge when Rodney, a high-ranking Sigma Shipyards employee, found me. Once several years ago Rodney had gotten me to sign on with Sigma as an independent pilot, and while I rarely ran shipments for Sigma these days I guess my name was still on his list.

He showed me to a conformably furnished meeting room, past one of the many Employees Only doors that littered Sigma's areas on the Kane Band. Once there he laid out a very interesting mission that he wanted me to do for him. It involved traveling to a star system I'd never heard of before that was located deep in Auroran space. Once there I was to bring back a shipment of Palladium. Apparently they had lost contact with a small mining outpost they had established in the system and their ships either met with a blockade or didn’t return at all. I was about to decline his offer; after all I had a ship with a new major upgrade, my new Thunderhead bay, that needed a good shake down run. But then he tells me:

"Be aware that if we cannot trust you to take this mission, we cannot trust you with any of our more sensitive corporate secrets."

That’s high-ranking executive lingo for: "If you refuse we'll have nothing more to do with you." So in an odd turn about on the phrase, he had given me an offer I couldn't refuse.

Part II: The Wonders of Hyperspace I & An Abomination

It took another two days to round up my crew, checkout the new upgrades to my ship and make preparations for a multi-month long voyage. The Indigo Star's systems received an extensive inspection, and I paid a few hundred credits to top off its batteries. After my crew and I were satisfied that the Indigo Star was in top condition we set out for the weeklong journey to Port Kane. Once there I again paid a few hundred credits to fill the Indigo Star's batteries and we were off towards the unknown. On first jump took us into the so imaginatively named NGC-1743 system. Sam did a sweep of the system and found no ship so we waited a few hours for the solar panels to regenerate the energy we expended during the jump. Then it was on to our first uncharted system.

After three rest filled days I call for the ship to be on yellow alert and head for the bridge. We're nearing the time that we'll be jumping out of hyperspace.

"Five minutes till reentry." Nathan says in a calm voice.

We all sit, waiting for the navigation computer to initiate the jump in process. Its funny but the jump to and from hyperspace is far more exciting than hyperspace itself. While in hyperspace all there is to see is a very bright white "fog." Occasionally you might be able to barely make out another ship traveling somewhat near you. But other than that is just boring and white. While the jump to hyperspace is more exciting it really isn't all that impressive either. You go from a beautiful starry sky, to the white fog within in a few seconds. But the jump out of hyperspace still impresses me after all these years.

"Here it goes!" Nathan calls out again.

Suddenly there is what can only be described as a slight ripple through the endless white void. Then a tiny pinpoint of what looks to be pure black far off in the distance pierces the brilliant white on the main view screen. Within a few seconds that tiny point that's only noticeable because of the harsh contrast quickly expands as it moves closer, and for the first time in days I can make out the silver specks of far off stars. A moment later the white of hyperspace vanishes behind us and the Indigo Star's hyperspace engines go into "reverse" to slow us back to normal cruising speed.

"So, where are we anyway." I say with a chuckle. Its sort of a tradition for me to ask that silly question, although this time its slightly more serious as we really don't actually know what this system is called.

"Wait a second," Sam says looking into his screen, "We just caught the tail end of the navigation buoy's broadcast, it should repeat any time now... Ah, there it goes. Welcome to the SPC-1414 system." he says in a happy tone.

"Meh, another boring name," I say, "Anyway, status report anybody?" I ask in another tradition. Nathan and Russel both ready for my question blurt out at nearly the same time.

"Flight control and navigation reports normal!" Nathan yells, just ahead of Russel.

"Shields are at full power, weapons systems register operational Sir! Oh darn he got me." says Russel.

"You two do know I won since I was the first to report right?" Sam asks mockingly.

"That doesn't count, you didn't give your station's status, you just..." Nathan starts to happily argue, but Sam cuts him off.

"Sir, I'm reading a single Auroran Abomination heading for us at high speed, its weapons are powered." Sam says seriously.

"Russel?" I ask urgently. He hits a couple of keys and the light on the bridge and the rest of the ship for that matter dim and the red lights signifying Red Alert activate.

"I got it, its almost in missile range, I'm powering up weapons, and defensive systems."

"Abomination is firing, radar missiles only." Sam reports.

I quickly give out my orders "Nathan, you know the drill, full speed right down its throat, Russel, open up when its in range, I want that ship dead, no sense in letting it send a distress signal."

It takes us nearly a minute to close with the Abomination, fortunately the Indigo Star’s Auroran made point defense emplacements shoot down the majority of its potentially deadly missile barrage. There's a good thud once or twice as a missile makes it through the storm of bullets and impacts on the shields.

"We're in range, opening fire." Russel says just before a near solid stream of blaster bolts and fusion pulses streak out to meet the ship thats not even visible out the large forward bridge window. A few seconds later we are rocked by what almost sounds like explosive rain as the Abomination unleashes its own fusion pulse weapons.

"The enemy is accelerating and moving slightly upward, its probably trying to go past us to get a good shot from behind." Sam says above the noise, correctly guessing the Auroran pilot's actions based on experience.

"It’s not going to get the chance." Russel says decisively.

A few seconds later the Abomination on my small gun camera display erupts into a fireball. Chunks of red-hot debris spread in all directions as the fireball is extinguished by oxygen less space.

"Shields at 77% and holding, enemy vessel destroyed." Russel says, clearly overjoyed that he got to blow something up.

"All other systems undamaged I assume?" I ask.

"Yes sir." comes the dual reply from Sam and Nathan.

"All right, lets get out of here." I say not wanting to give any reinforcements time to find us. A few minutes later we are back in the dull safety of hyperspace.

Part III: The Wonders of Hyperspace II & One on One

We made our jumps in and out of the Zel, Pilot, and Reer systems without too much incident. There were a couple close shaves, but we managed to avoid most of the Auroran ships in those systems. In Tekel Reeva however we jumped in right on top of a couple Auroran fighters that were a on deep system patrol. We handled the fighters quickly but a Auroran battle group was apparently alerted and jumped in right on top of us. We jumped out as quickly as we could, but still took heavy damage to the shields. We jumped in and out of the next two systems Tekel and Tekel Kymon only stopping long enough for the navigation computer to register the new systems.

Hyperspace has a few interesting properties, the most widely know of course are its distortions of real space distances. I can never remember the conversions but the way it works is for every so far you move in hyperspace, you move so many times than in normal space. One of the lesser-known properties of hyperspace is its suppression of shield regeneration. Because of this odd effect by the time we jumped into the Smada system the Indigo Star's shields were only up to 50% from the 30% they were at when we fled the Tekel Reeva system nine days before.

"Sam, are there any ships in the system?" I ask after we jump in.

"No, I'm detecting no ships, or anything else for that matter." he replies after a minute.

"Good, we're going to be here a while, I want to get the shields back up before we make the jump to the Kontik system. That Sigma guy Rodney tells me that none of their ships had gotten past the Auroran blockade so I have no plans to go in there unprepared." I say, thinking out loud.

"Sounds good to me.� jokes Russel.

We drifted through the system for nearly two hours letting the shields recharge. It was actually fairly peaceful. I left the bridge and went down to the observation lounge and just stared into the stars for a while. Then the moment was broken when the lighting dimmed and the room took on a slightly red tint, we were at red alert!

I counted to three and sure enough Sam's voice comes over the room's intercom: "Ragashingo, get up here, we've got big problems."

As I moved towards the lounge's door something out the opposite wall’s window caught my eye. I stopped and starred at the tiny shape for a second until my mind finally figured out what I was looking at: a 1.2 kilometer long Aurora Carrier.

As I enter the Indigo Star's bridge I called out to Sam for a status report.

"It took a few minutes for the Carrier to notice us, but they've definitely seen us now. They've already launched fighters, but I've already moved us out of their railgun's range." he says

"Good, how are our shields?" I ask.

"Shields are at 69%, those fighters will be here in about two minutes." Russel reports. "Should I give the order to launch our fighters?" he continues.

I mull this idea over for a moment but then answer with: "No, their fighters are nearly on top of us, it'd take to long to even get our fighters out the launch bay. We'll just shoot down their fighters and keep out of range of the Carrier, we're faster than it is so they'll either chase us or get bored and leave. Nathan, get us on a course away from the Carrier then swing the ship around to get our guns in position."

"Aye sir" both Nathan and Russel reply.

An Aurora Carrier is one of the class biggest ships I've ever seen. In our journeys delivering cargo we've run into a few of the Carriers, and once or twice even engaged them with support of the Wild Geese mercenary group. The trick is to get the fighters off your back and then to exploit the Carrier's light weaponry. But out here with no support, and with the possibility of having to run a blockade in the next system I'd decided to play it safe.

"Here they come!" Russel calls out.

I activate the view screen's holographic mode and rotate the 3D view of the upcoming battle so I can clearly see the Indigo Star, the Aurora Carrier, and the incoming fighters.

The first fighter, a Firebird, comes into range but only gets off two or three shots from its twin guns before it is destroyed. I zoom in on the holographic representation of the battle to get a better view looking for anything that merited my input. At this point me Sam, and the rest of the crew are more or less along for the ride. In a smaller ship its possible for one person to fly and shoot at the same time, but for a ship as big and with as many weapons as the Indigo Star, no one person could possibly do both tasks at once.

"Nathan, give me a quick barrel roll to the left." Russel calls out, knowing his request would be done with no questions asked.

I feel a small bit of motion and look to the combat hologram floating near the front of the bridge, to see the Indigo Star roll to the left, keeping the upper blaster turret in view of a Firebird for a few more precious seconds, which ensured it didn't make another pass at us. Finally I noticed something that I could do.

"Russel, the Firebirds are hitting us in close and shielding the Phoenixes and their missiles from our point defense fire. Target the Phoenixes on their next pass." I tell him.

"Got it!" he replies.

Sure enough when the Phoenixes reengaged us after reloading at the distant carrier they were targeted and destroyed. A few minutes later and the final Firebird takes a last burst from one of our point defense guns and drifts off disabled.

"Final target disabled, our shields are stabilizing at 34%" Russel comments to the rest of the bridge crew.

"Sir, we are receiving a message from the Aurora Carrier, audio only." says Sam, probably glad he had something to do again.

"Put it through." I say.

"Unidentified ship, I am Gers Smor'ther Captain of the Carrier Tekel's Flaming Fist, you fought bravely against my fighters and were victorious, why then do you dishonor yourself, me, and my crew by refusing to engage my ship?"

I'd ventured down into Auroran space a few times before, mostly to purchase various items for the Indigo Star. One of the things I'd learned was that an Auroran would rather hear the truth, than a better sounding lie. So I answer him with the truth:

"Gers Smor'ther, I am Ragashingo captain of the Indigo Star. I am refusing to attack your ship because I have been sent on a mission to the Kontik system where I will likely have to engage a blockade who's size I don't know. I do not wish dishonor on you or your crew, but I have made an agreement with my employer and the damage my ship would incur in attacking yours would almost certainly cause me to fail my mission."

"I sense you speak the truth Ragashingo of the Indigo Star." says the Auroran captain. "Your task in an honorable one for I know of the blockade you speak of. We will protect you as long as you are in this system. You are a worthy foe and I should like to be the one to defeat you, not some houseless dog."

"Sir the Carrier has cut off its pursuit, it has come to a stop." Sam spoke up.

"Russel power down the weapons, Nathan move us into visual range of the Carrier, they will protect us while we recharge our shields."

For the next five hours we rested within weapons range of the Aurora Carrier. I knew that no Auroran house would allow a liar to command a ship the size of a Carrier and that we could trust the Captain’s offer. Finally when our shields were complete charged we says farewell to the Tekel's Flaming Fist and again entered hyperspace heading towards the Kontik system.

Part IV: The Kontik Blockade

"Jump sequence complete, we're at cruising speed. Navigation and Flight Control systems report normal." Nathan says seriously.

"Shield are at 100%, all weapons are online and ready to fire, fighter bay crews are standing by for launch." Russel reports next.

"Sensors and communications are operational. I'm detecting two ships in the system both are fighters. They are in orbit around Kont sir, I doubt they've noticed us yet." Sam notes.

"Focus the high power camera on the planet, lets have a look at what we've come all this way to get at." I say to Sam.

A few seconds later the bridge light dim and a nearly opaque hologram of the mysterious planet appears hovering in the air. All four of us stare at the image in awe. Somehow built around the planet is an enormous ring similar to Earth's Kane Band. Except this ring makes the Kane Band, which is perhaps one of Humanities greatest achievements, look like it was built out of tinker toys. The ring was so large it almost seemed as if the ring had been built first and then later on its builders had decided to make a planet in its center.

"Wow." I say putting a word to what we all felt.

"Sir, the fighters have spotted us. They've broken orbit and are on an intercept course." Sam reports.

"How long to intercept?" I ask him.

"About twenty minutes." comes Sam's reply.

"Ok. Nathan take us towards the planet, but keep those fighters in front of us." I order

"Yes Sir." he says

For several minutes we speed forward towards the enemy fighters, then I notice Sam look down at his station for a few moments before he turns and says:

"Uh oh. More ships just jumped in, looks like two Abominations, an Argosy, and an Enterprise."

"So there is the blockade," I muse aloud, "Russel, launch our fighters, I want them to go after that Enterprise, we’ll move forward through the first two fighters and then engage those Abominations." I say.

Nearly a minute later I hear a strange sound rumble through the ship, for a second I thought maybe something major had broken, but when Russel announces that our first fighter was away and I realized that the new sound I heard was simply the fighter launch mechanism. The rumbled repeats itself two more times. On the tactical hologram I watch as the three Thunderhead fighters get into formation and then move past us towards the Enterprise.

"Sam, can you put the fighters com channel over the speakers? I'd like to hear what's going on out there." I ask.

A moment later the bridge is filled with the sound of engine noise mixed with bits of static. Above both sounds comes the fighter pilot's voices:

"This is Thunderhead 1, squadron leader, I'm almost in range of the target, I'm starting my attack run now. Thunderhead 2 and 3 start your runs once I'm clear over."

"Roger T-Head 1, T-Head 2 copies over"

"Thunderhead 3 acknowledges Thunderhead 1 over"

Russel nearly yells above the fighter chatter to report:

"First two fighters coming into range, I'm opening fire."

I watch on the holographic representation as the Indigo Star releases it firepower on the small Firebird fighter destroying it. Moments later the second fighter, a Phoenix, mets the same fate.

"Thunderhead 1 reporting, attack run complete, target's shields have taken heavy damage! I'm returning for missile reload, Thunderheads 2 & 3 you are clear to start your attack runs, over." reportes one of my fighters

"T-Head 2 starting attack run now, T-Head 3 follow me in."

"Roger that Thunderhead 2, I'm about one hundred meters off your four o' clock position, just make sure you hang a left at the end of the run, over."

"Confirmed T-Head 3, I see you, here we go!"

"Sir," Russel calls out, "The two abominations are attempting to out flank us, one is going high, the other one is going low."

I look to the hologram again and see a convenient option:

"Nathan, head towards the low one. Russel use the fusion pulse cannons to take out that one, and see if you can use the blaster turrets to keep the high one busy until we can come around."

"Got it!" says Russel

"Aye Sir!" yelled out Nathan.

I watch the stars move rapidly out the forward window as Nathan directs the Indigo Star's nose down at the lower of the two Abominations. A few seconds later we are pounding both of the heavy Auroran gunships with weapons fire. Moments after that I feel our ship shake at it is on the receiving end of both Abomination's weaponry.

"Fighter 1 is rearmed and ready for launch." says Russel.

"Good, launch Fighter 1 and tell him to hit the high Abomination." I reply

"Indigo Star, this is T-Head 2, attack run complete that ship has taken heavy damage I think its breaking up!" comes the female voice of one of my fighter pilots, "T-Head 3 and I are heading home to reload." the pilot finishes up.

"Nathan, get me a shot of that Enterprise on my screen." I order.

"Yes Sir, sending camera feed to your screen two now." you replies

I look down at the screen on my right and see the Enterprise burning in space, just then a rapid-fire trio of explosions erupts from its engine module blowing the ship into several large flaming sections. A fourth explosion outside the Indigo Star's bridge window joins those on the small screen as Russel reports:

"The first Abomination has been destroyed, fighters 2 and 3 are rearmed and ready for launch."

"Good, launch those fighters and tell them to stay close and provide support." I reply.

With the combined firepower of the Indigo Star and my fighters the second Abomination falls in what seems like seconds. Then a desperate call emerges over the bridge speakers:

"This is Thunderhead 1, requesting immediate assistance, I made a pass on the Argosy but my shields are down and I've lost an engine. I can't outrun it! I'm doing my best to stay out of its sights."

"Sam, where is he?" I ask as the message repeats in the background

"He's close, we should be able to reach him in time" Sam replies while isolating the fighter on the tactical hologram.

"Nathan, get us between the fighter and the Argosy, we'll cover him. Russel tell the other two fighters to flank the enemy ship." I command.

"Aye Sir" both men reply.

For a second the stars outside turn and then stop, off in the distance I can make out the shape of the Argosy as it tries to land the final blow on one the damaged Thunderheads. I get out of my chair and walk down to the front of the bridge right up next to the large window. As we continue to rapidly approach the two ships I spot the damaged Thunderhead fighter, it's venting some sort of gas out of its left lance and engine. The fighter dodges left and right avoiding the majority of the fire directed at it, but with each burst the Argosy scores a few hits, the Thunderhead won't last much longer I think to myself.

"I've got your back T-Head 1!" comes the female fighter pilot's voice over the com channel.

Her Thunderhead suddenly flies into view, it had flown past us heading straight towards the Argosy's side. As the friendly fighter pulls away and grows smaller it launches a salvo of missiles that apparently cut through the last of the Argosy's shields. It then activates its twin lance weapons and heads straight at the Argosy's engine section, I could see the bright green beams of light burning ever deeper holes in the Argosy's armor. Just as I start to fear that the fighter is going to ram the enemy ship it rotates upward and activated its afterburners missing the Argosy by what had to have been mere meters.

"Sir, the Argosy has been disabled." Russel notes.

"Cease fire, lets get that damage fighter home before we kill that Argosy. The Thunderhead is pretty beat up; I don't want to risk the Argosy's blast doing more damage to the fighter. Nathan, all stop, we're at a good firing range now."

"Right, I'll tell the other fighters to come home as well." he says. A few minutes later Russel reports:

"All fighters are home, should I destroy the enemy ship?"

I look back out the window to the Argosy, it has two small glowing wounds on its side near its engines, and a pair of alternating burn marks that the second Thunderhead had made as its pilot pulled up while continuing to fire.

"Kill it." I order, no sense in letting its crew have the chance to get off a distress signal.

A short combined burst of blaster bolts and fusion pulses strikes the damaged freighter, slamming into the weakened armor near the engines. Like the larger Enterprise the Argosy sizzles with small explosions for a second before a final large blast tears the ship apart.

Part V: The Miners & The Hotshot Fighter Pilot

Most space captains like myself start out in the small Sigma Shuttle. While its not at all a bad ship, it is a small ship. It can’t haul much cargo, and its easy prey for even small pirate ships. For the first year the only thing you think about is earning enough money to buy a bigger ship. One of the funny things that you don’t think about when your trying to ditch you Shuttle is that the bigger ships you have your eyes on are essentially “stuckâ€? in space, and the majority of your cargo is “stuckâ€? on the ground. So how do you get twenty tons of cargo from a mine on a planet’s surface up to a large IDA Frigate in orbit? By using two Sigma Shuttles that’s how.

"We've cleared the upper atmosphere," says Diego the shuttle's pilot, "We should see the mining outpost in about ten minutes Sir."

"Look over there that must be it," I say pointing from the copilot’s seat to a lit settlement that is quickly moving towards us, "maybe your instruments need adjusting?"

"No Sir, the mining colony shouldn't even be visible yet, their radio homing beacon puts them another thousand kilometers ahead of us." Diego replies, a bit put off by my comment.

Fifteen minutes later we touch down safely, with the second shuttle landing just behind us. The mining colony leader, a large hardy looking man with a thick beard, greets me. After a quick introduction he invites me to his small living quarters while his men load the cargo of Palladium onto my shuttles. After a bit of small talk I ask him:

"On our way in we saw what looked to be another mining colony. Are you running two mines?" I ask him.

"Hell no. That one is run by some Aurorans. Every once in a while a few daring Auroran ships will run the blockade like you did and land there to pick up shipments of Palladium." He says with a hearty laugh.

"But those were Auroran ships manning the blockade..."

"Not really. The Aurorans running the blockade are "Houseless," outcasts from the governments that rule the Auroran empire. The Aurorans that come to that colony belong to one of the Auroran houses or another, not to this group of houseless Aurorans."

Just then another miner walks in and reports that the Palladium has been loaded onto my shuttles. Before I leave I ask the colony leader if he'd needs me to go back and get him some more help, in case the Houseless warriors decide to attack him and his men.

"Don't worry," he tells me, "they don't want to risk damaging the mining operation, and we are more than a match for them on the ground. Just be careful as you head out, once they don't hear back from one blockade group they send another one, every ship that takes off gets beaten to hell, they get boarded nearly as soon as the leave the planet's gravity well. Good luck out there"

"Thank. We'll watch out for them." I assured him.

Once the cargo and I were safely aboard the Indigo Star I orderNathan to get us out of there as fast as possible. Right on cue a second Houseless blockade fleet jumps in right behind us. They chase us for nearly an hour as we made our way out of the system, but besides a couple of small fighters none of their ships could catch us and we manage to jump out of the system with nearly no shield damage.

The trip home was an interesting one. Rodney told us to avoid Auroran patrols once we had the cargo. Sometimes it was easy, the Auroran forces in a system would be battling each other or pirates and we'd slip by after we recharged our batteries. Other times we'd just get done with the first scan of the system and then be forced to jump out again as a scouting force came our way. Finally after weeks of traveling we had made it back to Federation patrolled space, the Polaris system.

"Scanning for ships." Sam says as soon as we had finished our jump into the system. Over the last couple of weeks scanning for Auroran patrols had become routine.

"One ship detected, its heading this way." he says after a few moments.

"Ok, Nathan, prepare to jump..." I say ready to give the order to avoid yet another patrol.

"Wait, Sir it’s a Federation ship, an Anaconda." Sam calls out happily.

"Cool," I say, "thats the first Federation ship we've seen since we left Port Kane isn't it? Sam send him a signal, I want to say hello."

"Sending a request signal... Ok he's on, you can talk when ready." Sam says.

"Greetings Anaconda, this is Captain Ragashingo of the IDA Frigate Indigo Star. We're heading back towards Sol after a long mission and you're the first Federation ship we've seen in a long time so I decided to say hi, over."

"Roger than Indigo Star, I'm just out here on long range patrol, I'll be heading back to the Tichel system soon. I'm glad to see the Aurorans have left you alone. If you do see an Auroran vessel do not engage them. Contact the nearest Federation authority and the problem will be dealt with, over." replies the cocky fighter pilot.

"Will do, we're about to make our jump to Tichel here in the next few minutes, I'd advise you stay clear of our current vector, Indigo Star out." I warn the pilot, trying my best to hold in my laughter

"Roger Indigo Star, I will avoid your outbound vector, Anaconda 2401 out." he says.

When the comm link was terminated the all of us on the bridge nearly die laughing. Don't engage Auroran vessels, report to the authorities and the problem will be dealt with! Obviously the pilot had no idea what we'd gone through over the last two months. Over the next two weeks a recording of that quick transmission had spread all throughout the ship, and by the time we made it to Earth every crew member had hear the conversation at least once, most several more times than that.

As soon as we completed docking procedures I let out a long sigh of relief. The entire trip had taken a bit over 78 days to complete. Rodney the Sigma executive dropped by and I tell him of the blockade and how the miners were holding out. He muttered something about finding a way around the blockade and tells me, a bit cryptically, to keep an eye out for him as he might have another mission for me soon. And with that he left, leaving my crew and I to continue unloading the Palladium.

Smooth.

Nicely done. Few tense problems, but way to go with portraying the captain. 🙂

Kudos.

Cheers,
Guapo

I liked it. Although I was expecting the captain to run into that scientist who wants to put a probe on Kontik as soon as he returned with the palladium, which would have been amusing. 😛 That happened to me once. Now I always wait to get both Kontik missions before I trudge down there.

Very nice, very nice...

I anticipate the next installment! I've been laying around like a leper over here waiting for a story series like this. Many other people (including myself) have made their stories slightly unrealistic in one way or another. This paints a very vivid and exiting RP adventure that would normally play itself out in the heads of Nova fans. 🙂

This needs to be rewritten? I really don't see a need for that, Ragashingo, it's a beautifully written story already! While reading this whole series, you've put me right on your ship! I can see myself fighting the pirate boarding crew alongside Russel and Captain Ragashingo. I watched with anticipation on the bridge as the asteroid miner made a flyby on the marauding Pegasus. I stood at battle stations making repairs where needed during the whole slog through Auroran space to Kont and back.

Amazing stories, Ragashingo! I salute you and await chapter 7 with bated breath!

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