Well, the business shut down. Juraal Mining, Transport, and Sightseeing services is officially done, with assets sold and star pad leases cancelled. With Dad gone it was just too for Mom to handle much I guess, and I sure as hell don't know how to run a shipping and mining company. A couple weeks ago Mom handed me a datapad with a bunch of access codes now. According to her there were a few stipulations in Dad's will. The family was to keep a few of his ships, and Mom has no use for them. I guess they're mine now. So, my new "fleet" consists of an Asp Explorer named Aspiration, a beat up Lakon Type-7 with virtually all of the paint stripped from it's hull, and my Father's pride and joy, his Fer-De-Lance. He had that thing for years and not a day of it shows, the damn thing's practically a mirror from the amount of polish he put on it by hand. Mom says he had a contact close to one of the production facilities, I can't imagine any other way he could've afforded it. It's a shame that I'll never touch the damn thing.
Hell, just learning to land took me long enough. A decade ago I tried to take that thing for a joyride. Not far, just take off, maybe fly around the planet and bring it back, simple. Figured that the Folsham's daughter might get a kick out of a tour around the rock. Well, all that got me was a week of hammering hull panels back into shape from where I bounced it off the side of the landing pad, but Sandy Folsham and I did start talking a lot more after that. I never said I was smart at 15. That thing was supposed to be the company muscle, but Dad never needed it. The fleet Cobras were perfectly capable of keeping the pirates at bay in the rings, and those all got sold for scrap. Besides, I'm no killer. I've got basic flight covered now, sure. But taking off into the black to dodge rocks the size of a city while some psychopath is gunning for my power plant? No way.
There was one other ship too, a Diamondback Explorer. The ship doesn't have a name and to tell you the truth I can't remember ever seeing the thing move. I always figured it was a spare in case the Aspiration went down. But I took a look at that thing, and I've seen A grade Frame Shift Drives before, but this? This is something totally out of the Pleiades. This things not only been fitted with Chemical Manipulators, and the components are retrofitted with Manganese pieces! I don't get it, but when I booted her up.... look I'm telling ya, this things got a jump range that could've ruined any of the other ships in the company fleet! Sure, aftermarket pieces mean the warranty's void so there's no way of taking it back to Lakon for tune ups, but I need to find out more about this ship. I've asked Mom what the story is, and she pointed me to a system called Deciat. Says Dad used to go out and meet some engineer out there. Dad apparently used to do a few odd jobs for her back in the day.
So I had a heading, now I just needed the license. I contacted the Pilots Federation, and got all my paperwork done with them. Had to prove I could take off and land a Sidewinder, fire weapons, the whole shebang. But that's nothing to me anymore, I suppose all these years working for the family business I probably should've been licensed. But that's the past. More recently I headed down to the Starport and got to asking around. From what I can tell there's only one engineer in Deciat, and her name's Felicity Farseer. I showed a couple of pilots a picture of the Diamondback's engine and they confirmed that it looks like her handiwork. Another one even tipped me off that I might need to make a bit of a detour. Turns out Felicity isn't exactly free and easy with who she works with. I'm gonna need to get her some Meta Alloy before she'll even talk with me. So here I sit, watching the stars wheeling around outside the canopy because the damn cat keeps getting into the cabin and playing with the stick. I've got a route plotted to the Maia system, from what I've been told there's an outpost on Maia A 2 a called Darnielle's Progress where I can pick the stuff up. According to the Navi-Com, that's well outside of protected space. Mercifully the Fuel Scoop on this bucket of bolts still works, so that shouldn't be an issue. A bunch of systems are still locked out in the ship though, so I've got lots to do while I'm making the trip out there. The COVAS is offline most notably, so it's dead quiet in here besides the engines.
Suppose I've spent enough time yammering away into this log and I ought to get back to work. Course plotted, FSD is spooling up.