Logbook entry

Senjie / 11 Jan 3305
Fight or Flight

Verity, personal log.

...

Date, January 11th, 2019.

Here I am talking to my COVAS again. I guess it's always a bit relaxing when you're in a long system cruise and you don't have much to do other than monitoring your systems and kicking in the radio every once in a while. Last night I thought it would be prudent to leave for Pallaeni, the expedition's starting waypoint, after having some local trouble with a few factions in Rangur. Talked to some of the local authorities there after I arrived, who were more than happy to accommodate me after they saw the hyperspace range of my ship in exchange for some planetary surveys a couple of light years out.

About Rangur... I found myself docked in Cartier Dock in the system after checking some market data that flew my way. It was one of those unremarkable outposts out there. Bland atmosphere, bland food, bland routine. They needed some Animal Meat and Grain, for what I guess would be spicing things up from the usual ration menu, so I grabbed some from a nearby system and ferried it back for some good money. The administrator there, who was loyal to the Rangur's Patron Principles, saw that I had plenty of cargo space in my Python and offered me a deal. They were having a rough time after a failed expansion effort a few systems away and needed to ferry some of their supplies back into their territory, so I accepted.

They definitely had the gear and the supplies, but I guess that just not enough people were particularly interested, or... supportive of the whole ordeal. I ferried containers after containers of nonlethal weapons, reactive armor, superconductors, military grade fabrics... you name it. I must've made about five round trips with my cargo bay full. It was about the sixth trip in that I got word that a hostile faction to them had sent interceptors against me to try and pick a fight. By then I was in the middle of nowhere in the system, flying the 400.000+ light second gap between the star and the cargo receiving station before I suddenly got pulled in by another Python. I couldn't shake him in time and he managed to interdict my FSD right in the shipping lane gap. The bastard knew exactly where to get me.

It was only luck that I had some semblance of armaments in my Python. Three turreted pulse lasers, and two missile racks that were touched up by that one Liz Ryder tech girl from Eurybia. He pulled up behind me and opened fire immediately. I returned fire only to figure out that his shields were much stronger than mine and within seconds I found that they were overloaded due to his weapons. He was using beam lasers and a few plasma accelerators. Miles above what I had. I shoved in my auxiliary power to engines and ran like hell before turning my distress beacon on, hoping that a patrol out there might catch it. I thought to myself that even if someone picked it up, they'd take at least five minutes to get here. I had to hold my own in that fight until then. I managed to down his shields after a few passes to his blindside, worrying that he might've blown my ship to half with all the damage he returned to me after. I must've been down to 40% hull integrity when the system authorities came by and took him down. I promised them that if I ever saw them on the deck I'd buy them five rounds on me as thanks, but I don't think that's enough payment for it.

Long story cut short, I got to the station I was sent to, dropped off my cargo and even got a bonus for taking out the guy that was chasing after me. I guess that must've impressed the administrator, who I think was not informed that the system authorities had helped me take him down, and offered me a special operations contract. Six million, paid after the deed was done with the condition that they'd give me the briefing only after I got to the target location. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I took it and jumped over to Mool. It was only then when the man informed me that the contract involved killing at least 18 civilians from the hostile faction that had hired the hitman.

I stopped there for a second and thought what the hell I was thinking of picking up that contract. I had rattled with asteroid rats and pirates before, but no one that never shot first. They wanted me to slaughter civilians who, like me, would probably have been aided by their own system's authorities. The same ones that made sure I wouldn't be space debris and a very wealthy check for a hitman.

I don't know if it was fear or rejection in me that made me tell the guy to go fuck himself before canceling the contract, but that's what I did. I didn't even look back afterward. I just pointed my ship over towards Pallaeni, plotted a route and got the hell out of there, not wanting to do any more business with one faction or the other. I guess it was that little bit of humanity in me that made me do it. I've never really been a person too affiliated with politics or... war, or whatever. I just want to make a living out there. To meet new people, to meet new worlds and locations, and maybe get to live long enough to have children so that they can get to see what I did in the future.

I... guess that's why I'm an explorer. I'm still not quite sure.

Anyway, the administrator at Eyharts Depot is probably gonna get pissed if I don't get this data to him in time, so I better get back to work. I'm almost at the target location anyway.

...

Verity, end log.
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