FEAR & LOATHING FOR DISTANT WORLDS 2 - IX
Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a System Security Officer. Your normal pilot will panic and immediately drop from supercruise when confronted: all apologies and begging for mercy.
This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. Make the bastard chase you: they will follow.
There isn’t a Security Officer born who isn’t a sucker for a finely-executed hi-speed drift from supercruise down to impulse speed. Of course, you have to avoid the interdiction attempt first.
Then the trick is to wait until their cooldown is complete and they rejoin you in supercruise - close enough to be immediately detectable, far enough away to require immediate acceleration.
They won’t be expecting the emergency stop, but you’ll have already braced for the Gs. By the time they’ve circled back and dropped to your wake, you’ll be waiting comfortably.
Now for the casual hail asking, is there is some sort of a problem, officer?
“You realize you just avoided a sanctioned security search, endangering yourself and causing damage to an official sector security vehicle?” The officer asked. “Prepare for a scan, and if you so much as twitch I won’t hesitate to open fire.”
I raised my hands up off the stick, holding them palms out as a vain symbol of compliance.
“Shit, what can I say…” Is the correct response. “I don’t have anything to hide. I knew it was a crime, I did it anyway. I’m a criminal.”
The scan completed. I couldn’t keep the smirk off my lips, trying to imagine what this officer was thinking as he checked over the manifest.
His response surprised me, however.
“Commander, why do you have so much soap?”
The truth was that I had requisitioned as much ‘free’ soap from Caravanserai Station as possible upon my escape. It seemed of critical importance at the time. Now, however, why did I have so much soap?
“I...want to stay clean,” I answered, lamely. “Heading out with the Distant Worlds Expedition, who knows when I’ll get to restock. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
“I don’t think so.”
“Really? Hmm, well...what’s the deal then? What’s the score?” I asked, slowly lowering my hands towards the controls.
I had managed to talk my way out of the close quarters confrontation with the Maitre d' of our accommodation at the station. He explained that, instead of arresting me for conspiracy to avoid bill payment, he was there on the express instruction of a certain Dr. Gonzo to deliver a communique directly to me, under the strictest security.
It would be only later, perhaps only just now, that said Maitre d' would be discovering an abandoned, unpaid, and utterly ruined hotel quarters; his true understanding the situation crystalizing into a potent mixture of hate and bile.
“I think that this case requires a more in-depth search,” Shit. That was it, he had me. “Where was your last port of call?”
There was only one thing left to do, so I did it: Hit the boost, fly head-on at the Officer’s Viper Mk IV, leave a bit of paint as a reminder of our time together, and find hyperjump alignment.
I popped a heat synch just as the goon had brought the Phantom into his sights, and watched the last few bars fill up on my HUD.
Witch space, freedom, and over 10,000 light years to the next waypoint.
I should really read that message from Gonzo...I wonder what was so important?
Last Time on Fear & Loathing...