I had meant to drag Ouberos over, under, and through the coals for taking my Beluga out sans
my permission, but once we started looking at each others knife collections we ended up just talking shop for a couple of days until the spice ran out. It surprising how fast you can play the knife game
on that stuff, especially when you're betting on each other whilst blindfolded and engaged in...well, perhaps there's a line to what I should mention about such things. I'm a preacher, not a director, after all...
But one person I didn't expect to come knocking was Sheng. Heck, I wasn't even aware Sheng had ever left his home system. However, apparently there was a slim chance that Ouberos had either tampered with my doorways or had their trade secret leaked, and he wanted to come by to check them out. When he took stock of my new modifications to the ROU ἈΠΟΚΆΛΥΨΙΣ 8:11, he was immediately asking me for the skinny on these new rivals of his. once I showed him the list our faction had of who was who and who knew who and who's sack you had to scratch to get in with the cool kids, he told me I had to give his name to all these people with a polite warning that they shouldn't try to tout their wares anywhere near his system if they planned to expand. I didn't see that as much of a problem, but i told him I was going to take my own pace in doing so.
, you're going to have to at least match my pace"
To be honest, with the confusion over the state of our current expansion in Black Omega and the amount that had been going on around Tjakiri of late, I'd almost forgotten that Scarlet had been spending such a large amount of time hanging around the home turf since we'd been entangling ourselves. She always used to come and go, but more recently she'd seemed to be putting down roots. Well, as much as people with FSDs and wanderlust could be said to ever truly put down roots.
She'd also gotten us into a bit of a tiff recently when we found that the Galactic Decal Division had finally decided to release faction deals. I'd always assumed she was independent, but when myself and a few others turned up spouting Archonian spiders on our ships front and centre, I had to have a long talk with her to find out why she had a Utopian decal o'er her cockpit.
"Oh, come on Mon', you can't honestly say you're surprised. I'm a racer, and the logo looks pretty rrrr
racy, don'cha think? Also, would I be into you if I wasn't into cultists in general?"
Well, suffice to say Sheng and I both went off about her using my shortening, as regardless as to how good the sex was (and admittedly still is), no-one takes a broforce name away from two brothers who've taken an oath. The old units of the broforce
may be long gone, but unless Marra tells me otherwise, I don't think there's any other girls who can claim descent from any of the original members. We're lucky they don't keep records anymore, because the "double Chuck" scenario makes tracing true lineage a bit confusing, but I digress. Sometimes opposites attract, and her languid deconstruction of language always happened to entice me at the same time as annoying me knowing she knew the Oxford Galactic Dictionary inside out. As far as her reasoning was concerned, I couldn't really find fault with such an emotive line of conclusion.
But that was then, and this was now. I haven't been on the race circuit in a while, and Scarlet was openly inferring that I needed to get back on the ball.
"More important that your
pace, babe, is my own. I love what you guys are doing around here, rah-ly
I do, but all this banging and shooting isn't helping me get myself going. I've been allowing you to cruise me and my 'vette wherever and however you'd like, but now I'd like you
to get me and her hot."
Marra happened to be passing by the docking bay, and looked about ready to storm in at such an implication, but a wink and a nod from Scarlet made her realise she was talking about her ship, and I avoided being stuck in a worse situation that I was being cajoled into already. I knew what was coming, and it went against everything I had been careful to avoid over the past year.
The thargoids have been mentioned in whispers for centuries since they left as suddenly as they had appeared, and certain CMDRs had uploaded videos of odd ships taking people out of Witchspace in what was being termed a "Hyperdiction". As I had correctly surmised in the early days of hearing about their existence, the Unknown Artefacts were seeming to be linked to who was getting pulled over by these inter-dimensional beings, and I had kept myself well away from such things since the beginning. However, the madman Palin had been tinkering with the things for quite some time now, and he was the only engineer who did upgrades to thrusters. I had planned to wait and see if any other engineers were found o;er the coming years, as there were rumours of even more clandestine operations, but alas! the things we do for....if not the love, then perhaps the fear of a good woman.
So I flew out like a numpty to run my ghost ship into UAs so they'd split up into fragments for the mad professor. If I had a mother, her spaghetti would've been all o'er my dashboard every jump back to Maia. I managed to make it, however, and was feeling pretty lucky about the whole thing. Maybe by ramming instead of shooting them, I had avoided creating some kind of distress signal to their motherships. Regardless as to the theory, my ride back home was pretty uneventful...until the final jump.
As I was sitting there watching the faces in nebulae fly by my windscreen, a sudden jolt turned the colours from their usual blues and reds to a horrible yellowish-green miasma. I was hit out of hyperspace into some random no-name system near Tjakiri, and a hulking beast looking like a triffid's wet dream came slowly edging round into view. I tried to press my emergency reboot, but some weird form of EMP had disabled every system in my ship...except the life support. My 'conda slowly span around even more helpless than it usually would be in such a scenario, and there was nothing I could do but chant mantras of the Monolith to try and stop the horrible light and sound which emanated from this fleur du mal
from reading my thoughts on top of my ship's specifications.
Apparently satisfied with my lack of threat, it meandered past my ship, causing it to veer around like an Eagle which had been hit with an impulse attack, and opened a horrible green portal out to I don't know where because I didn't have a wake scanner aboard. to be honest, I'm not sure i'd have wanted to follow. Perhaps they would have heard the word of the Monolith within my brain, but I doubted this was the time to proselytise. I had wanted to speed after them for a better view, but unfortunately my 'conda is not able to boost, so it had left ere I had even managed to get up to top speed.
I made my way home and showed Scarlet what small pictorial evidence I had managed to create from the antique shutter camera I always wondered why I had never gotten rid of from the glove compartment. She seemed overjoyed at the implications of aliens, but I was mortified she was downplaying the threat I had just witnessed.
"Oh what's the worry? the only ships we've found destroyed had weaponry on them, and your 'conda has never had so much as a small piss laser installed"
My mortification turned to a feeling of genuine hurt over such an apparently emasculating assertion, but she did have a point so i decided not to refute her claim.
"And besides, babe, now we're in the clear to get those upgrades and really fly in style at the next race we go to!"
So two weeks later, here I am with the ROU ἈΠΟΚΆΛΥΨΙΣ 8:11 capping @ 499km/h on a boost cycle whilst her 'vette hits 530. The last week was spent reaping the rewards of giving her the faster drive, but to be honest the heat issues would've caused too many problems for my hammers anyway, so it really was a win-win-win scenario. And don't think I'm the kind of misogynistic idiot who just asks for extra nookie as a reward for putting myself into the gaping maw of an alien eldritch intelligence. Nay, when I stare into an abyss I expect more than mere physicality, and Scarlet is now my sleeper agent. I was the second best smuggler in the galaxy back when I was smuggling slaves. And the only person who was better than me is the leader of Utopia
, the shadow behind the throne. I don't have quarrel with the guy at all despite the fact he never returned my calls, as lesser fish than he have dismissed me for a zealot, but it's good to know that the Monolith Preacher Enlightenment foundation has its fingers in one more Power.
And speaking of Powers, I must end on a bad note this time. It turns out that not only have the Feds finally wrested control of my home station away form the Pirates of Gcirthi, but Yuri Grom has taken it away from the Archon as well. I'm only the Preacher of Black Omega, so I don't have the authority to ask us to reclaim the system from the faction which owns it, but I might have to work on repairing my standing with the Archon in order to at least take it back from the iron fist of Yuri. Whilst our own bid in the Dangerous Games was more to let people know they were unsure of what they were getting themselves into, I refuse to give my home system to a Power whose only purpose to aligning themselves with each other is their sharing of a language. Not only is it un-spiritual, it's not even truly physical either.
Time will tell if I shall get my system back or end up like that poor Tibetan Monk who either was the most forgiving man in the world or an active supporter of genocied (the accounts are available from the time but hold conflicting viewpoints). For now, the best I can hope is that Black Omega wins our next war. And that, at least is as good as a given. We're boasting three times as many wingmen as we had when i joined, and we've been doing this for quite some time now. In a few days, I'll be able to truly test out my new Burst Laser, and with any luck we may be able to go up against a Capital class ship again, which would bring back some very fond memories and maybe even give us an excuse to fly as a wing again. The only problem with having so many people on differing time zones is you can start to act as rogue agents, and I can't remember the last time I flew with Pahn or Marra. I've found a couple of new CMDRs in the Pegassi sector I might recruit, but it depends on how often I see them flying in the future. Until then, I've had an invitation from an old friend who is a fellow preacher
of a different faith system, and I think it might be time for us to check our