I lost my copilot today, Edith Jacobs. She had signed on with a rating of Helpless, but I have an eye for talent. Even so, I was surprised that she managed to beat me to Dangerous (but only by that much...).
I guess I respected her drive and admired her fire. When I met her, she had just finished up a run to the far side of the galaxy, in an Orca, of all things. But Edith really wanted to fight pirates; it was something she felt quite strongly about. She took to the Taipain like a fish to water; soon she was slinging those plasma bolts and landing almost all of them on target. I just tallied her cut of the bounties: 23 million. She was a hard worker, I'll give her that. I guess I'll have to send the remainder of her pay to her next of kin.
I'm not really sure what happened; we were hunting the Ehlanda Purple Gang over in the Ehlanda system and we overtook a wing of those dirtbags in a HazRes in the rings of Ehlanda 14. At the helm of my Krait Mk.II, I was handling the lead, an Anaconda, while Edith kept the others occupied with the Taipan from the telepresence suite. I was hammering the Annie with my MCs and frag cannons; his hull was about 60% and his shields were down. My own shields were low, but manageable; hardened bi-weaves with the minimum resistance at 30%, boosted with conventional and Guardian tech. I was face to face with the Anaconda, watching him slough about desperately trying to evade, and I was ready to unload another full volley into his unprotected back. Suddenly my Krait's shields were completely down and the hull was breached, in the space of about two seconds. I don't know how I made it to the escape pod in time, pure instinct I guess. I still can't figure what happened; maybe the Anaconda called for help and his wingmates hit me hard with simultaneous plasma bursts? It doesn't even matter. I was sick and in shock in the escape pod, completely numb.
I'm not even sure what to say, or where to go from here.