07 JUL 3305, Hamilton Gateway, system Wolf 406 (Headquarters of the Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps)
This is Jav Marlo, on board the Cratos, landed at Hamilton Gateway, the headquarters of the Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps, in system Wolf 406.
This has been a very strange week. I must confess that my trip to system Hoff and my encounter with Zal Marlo
, my alleged brother, has affected me. Besides the fact of discovering that I might have a family after all, based on what Zal said, my father
could be a Federal. How can this be? It is true that he was always absent, flying missions, but he was a high rank Alliance operative. That I know. Maybe he was not running missions but raising a family on Mars. Or maybe he was a cover agent. That would make him a traitor, instead of a hero of the Alliance. I needed to find answers so, right after leaving Zal at Oluwafemi Terminal, I headed towards Dublin Citadel, to the place where I grew up, seeking for answers.
Jav Marlo arriving to Dublin Citadel in Gateway
Zal said that our father disappeared while conducting a cover operation in Alliance territory. That does not match with what they told me. According to the Alliance Defence Force, my father’s Asp Explorer was found adrift in Merope with no signs of him or his body. I did not think it was appropriate to tell Zal Marlo
about this. I barely know him. I am going to need to learn more about him too. In the following days, I went again through all the files about my father services for the Alliance. Most of the information is classified, specially his mission logs. Nothing there. I tried in the past to contact the Alliance Council of Admirals
looking for answers about my father disappearance with no success. It was my plan to get some notoriety among the Alliance factions in order to try again, but now I cannot do it. What would happen if I discover that he was a spy for the feds, that he was a traitor? That would put me in a very difficult position. I am a member of the AEDC militia now. I have met again with all my father’s contacts and friends here at Dublin Citadel. I cannot tell them about him maybe being a Fed, so I tried unfruitfully to get information from them while concealing my suspects. Another cul de sac. Professor Palin suggested me in my last trip to the Pleiades that maybe I should ask the notorious engineers Bill Turner and Lori Jameson about Alliance cover operations that my father might be involved in. He also warned me about Bill Turner
. It does not matter now. Both engineers are still way out of my reach. The only thing that was clear for me was that I needed to discover who my father really was, if what Zal Marlo told me about him was true, before digging more on his disappearance in the Merope system.
The Electra landed at Dublin Citadel (Gateway)
After three days in Dublin Citadel, I was going mad. Many of the things I gave for settled were being questioned now. I felt like a foreigner in my own hometown. Not that I was never very attached to any place, but I grew up here, and now everything seemed a lie to me. I was getting paranoid. I even thought that I was under the eye of the Alliance Interpol. So, I decided that I had to leave. I had heard that Aegis Research had issued a statement about growing concerns that meta-alloy harvests in the Pleiades Nebula had slowed dramatically. And that they were asking pilots to hand exploration data to The Oracle in the Delphi system. I discovered many ammonia worlds on my way back from Beagle Point and I still got that data, so I headed for the Pleiades again. At least, this way, I could contribute a little bit to the war against the Thargoids.
The trip made me good. I remember that going to the Pleiades
seemed like a huge adventure time ago. Now, after being in Beagle Point, it seemed like a turn around the block. Anyhow, I did not stay there for long. After cashing the remains of my exploration data, I headed back to system Wolf 406, to Hamilton Gateway, my new home. I needed to think what would be my next step. Maybe I should go to Mars and see if I could find information about my father there. But Sol is a permit locked system. You need to have a rank in the Federation Navy to be allowed to travel there. And, besides, with everything that is happening now, it seemed too dangerous.
While I was thinking on my next steps, I decided to concentrate in my role as part of the AEDC militia. I took some petty courier missions for Wolf 406 Transport & Co, and move around some systems in the surroundings. Doing that I started to take conscience that the scope of the AEDC operations is vast, and that most of these operations involve defending the Alliance territory and its factions from pirates and worst. If I wanted to really contribute, it was clear that I was going to need a bigger ship. One that would be capable of sustaining heavy combat. It was time to gear up.
I acquired my only experience in combat during my first trip to the Pleiades. I expended a week there helping the local security force fight the pirates
that were attempting to take over an asteroid ring in several skirmishes. That got me a reputation among the local factions and the rank of Expert in combat. I flew a Viper Mark III that I called the Achilles and collected 481 bounty-vouchers on it. But, to be honest, the local forces did most of the job and I had never pull the trigger again after that. Now, with the credits I earned on Distant Worlds 2, I thought I could afford a bigger ship. And there was only one ship I could think of. The true war horse of the Alliance: The Chieftain.
The new Alliance Chieftain of Jav Marlo (Wolf 496)
According to Lakoon Spaceways, the Alliance Chieftain has been designed not only to dish out punishment, but to avoid it. The Chieftain is more manoeuvrable than ships of similar size and weight, and its combat profile means it can more than hold its own in a fight. I A-rated every system of the ship and mounted three multi-cannons and three small railguns. I installed some surface reactive composite armor and reinforced the hull along with the modules. I added some countermeasures too, a FSD interdictor and a fuel scoop. I wanted it to be difficult to spot in a fight, so I chose a dark paint, but added some green stripes. After all, I meant to use it for defending the Alliance space. The only thing left was to choose a proper name. And, being this a ship created with the only purpose of combat, I decided that Cratos, the personification of power, strength and dominium in Greek mythology, would be a proper name. Now it was time to try it.
The Cratos landed at Hamilton Gateway before its first fly (Wolf 406)
That is the biggest ship I have owned. And the most expensive. Everything in the Chieftain is combat oriented. No room for luxuries. The crew quarters are Spartan but appropriate. Just equipped with the basics. They clearly were not thinking in long trips. The canopy is incredible spacious. Or it seemed to me, used to smaller ships. It holds space for a co-pilot and offer great views. I must confess that I love the thrill of testing a new ship.
Jav Marlo on the cockpit of the Cratos (Wolf 406)
I took the Cratos out for its first flight and confirmed that the Chieftain is incredible nimble for its size. They say it was designed to counteract the agility of the Thargoid interceptors. I wanted to get used to fly on it, so I decided to visit some of the engineers in the surroundings and see if they could tinker a little bit with its systems. And that is when the Chieftain proved that it was designed just for combat. Accustomed to the Hyperion and the Electra, the Cratos is a real pain to move around the Bubble. Even after Farseer increased its jump range, the tiny fuel tank makes necessary to fuel scoop at every star, and the overcharged power plant overheats easily, at least compared to a Diamondback Explorer.
The Cratos leaving Hamilton Gateway for its first fly (Wolf 406)
I have engineered the Cratos to the limit that my resources allowed me. Modifications do not come cheap, but I must say that I put the Painite Zal Marlo gave me to a good use. The engineers are very demanding. It seems that I am going to need a lot of materials if I want squeeze the whole potential of this ship. But I am quite satisfied with the results so far. I guess this is a work in progress.
The Cratos landed at Qwent Research base in Sirius
It was time for a real combat test. There is always a Compromised Navigation Beacon someplace in the Alliance space, where wanted vessels piloted by criminals have overcome the security forces and fly around harassing the disgraced pilots that arrive there. This places are ripe for bounties too. They are really dangerous combat grounds, with no backup and, usually, they should be avoided at all costs. The perfect set up for a ship like the Cratos. I found one and dropped to normal space. Seconds later a Krait Phantom approached and scanned me. On this occasion, instead of running, I deployed my hardpoints.
The Cratos deploying hardpoints at a Compromised Navigation Beacon
In the following days I fought every wanted ship I could. I challenged Kraits, Clippers, wings of Eagles, Cobras, Anacondas and even Type 10 Defenders. During the first encounters I had to retreat several times with my ego wounded and my ship scratched, but I went to Todd “The Blaster” Mc Quinn and overcharged my multi-cannons. After that, with their new incendiary rounds, they started to melt the enemy ships shields. Then I could snipe through their systems with my rail guns. I lost my shields many times, but the reinforces to the hull always managed to resist until the shields recover. After three days, I was able to defeat Elite Anacondas, Kraits and Type 10 Defenders. Most of the encounters with these incredible dangerous enemies left me bruised and battered and in need of patching at the nearest station. It seems that the Chieftain has a tendency to take all the strikes to its canopy. It did not matter to me. I took the scratches as a badge of honor. They were the marks that proved my progress as a combat pilot and, as I have said, this is a work in progress.
Jav Marlo signing out.
The canopy of the Cratos scratched after a combat