I guess sometimes caving to a craving isn't such a bad thing.
I headed into Imperial territory and landed on a small outpost in the Mainani system. Seems the mining colony had a glut of data that needed moving between its sister station in Ngalinn. Far be it for me to refuse. The Mainani Empire Party was particularly hospitable, claiming that my reputation for moving data far preceded me. After working out the details of my contract, I got to work straightening out their databases and getting both stations up to date. It wasn't too long before the operation was running smoothly, and the credits were rolling in.
A few days into organizing for the hosting faction, I was approached in turn by the other corporations in the area. As my operation with the Empire Party was essentially automated by this point, I agreed to spread my time among them all, and I must say, their generosity was greatly appreciated. A few of my contacts here are members of the Imperial navy, and bequeathed me with honorary ranks to show their gratitude. I did feel some twinge of guilt accepting their stripes when I had done this very thing for the Federation years before, but I shook off my guilt by reminding myself that I'm not fighting in their wars. Information wants to be shared, and I'm the best there is at doing that.
After about too weeks, I had accumulated enough profit to warrant purchasing that lovely Courier I had my eye on. I must say, it's more impressive behind the stick than I would have guessed. It's a bit more crowded than I expected, but as a compact fighter, it does what it's designed for flawlessly. A pair of multi-cannons on either wing topped off with a beam laser along the primary makes for a quick, light powerful fighter I can keep for those special missions I run into from time to time. I think I'll call her...the Swordfish. Swordfish III.
Having accomplished original goal, I started packing for the trip back to Kuk when I received a suspicious message about a potential of a crashed ship carrying some interesting data. I'd never been to Mant and it wasn't far, so I plotted a course and headed back into the black to see if the tip was good, or a trap.