It had been several weeks, since I left Baker's Prospect. Several weeks of running errands for the Federation, in the hope of making a name for myself & getting noticed by Felicia Winter's cabinet members, or the Federal Navy. Despite hauling commodities & sundries for various factions & delivering a few wanted felons into the hands of Federal justice, apparently, it wasn't yet enough to warrant any attention. However, it had earned me enough credits to buy a couple of new ships, which I'd spent nearly every credit I'd earned on outfitting. I'd have been happy with this, had I not then realised that the Adder I'd purchased from Gorbatko Reserve was not particularly suited to combat, even with some upgraded modules. An oversight I realised too late, resulting in me spending more time than I'd have cared to in an escape pod, after the Adder fell victim to a known pirate in LP 98-132. Honestly, for its size, an escape pod isn't the most uncomfortable of places, but for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia, it's like hell in a box! Given the fact that I didn't know how long it would take for me to be picked up, I made use of the tranquillisers stored in one of the utility pouches inside the pod & knocked myself out, so I didn't have to endure the tight confines of my temporary home. Granted, this was a reasonably sensible decision, were it not for the fact that by the time I awoke, having been picked up by a commercial vessel & dropped off at Freeport in the same system, I had failed to complete the other missions I'd undertaken, in the allotted time! I didn't care to calculate how much favour or how many credits I'd lost, but it had, never-the-less, set me back some.
Understandably, as soon as I was able to afford to replace it, I did, this time with a wiser choice; a Cobra Mk III. I can see now, why the Cobra is such a popular ship; not only is it versatile, able to lend itself to many different roles, but it's a dream to fly. I am sure, in time, I will upgrade to larger vessels, capable of more demanding roles, but for now, Saoirse's Pride III, is serving me well. Well enough, it turned out, to finally get the attention of the Federal Navy, who requisitioned me to take out some undesirables in Aganippe. Easy credits, for the Cobra made it an effortless task, my piloting skills helping a great deal, of course. Yet, as she often does, fate has a way of reminding us not to get too full of ourselves. High on the success of a series of missions, I accepted one for Jet Electronics Inc., based out of Kuo Arsenal in Umbrigua. Whether I was too carefree to check the details, or too arrogant to bother, it nearly cost me my new ship &, more importantly, my life! I guess I should have paid more attention in Classics at college. Were this the case, I might have known that the noun mega was from the ancient Greek language, meaning "huge" &, when used as a prefix, such as in mega-ship, it should cause any cautious pilot concern. Not me, though, as I travelled towards said vessel in Ross 446, on a mission to disable some turrets. It had not occurred to me to ask why this ship's turret's needed disabling &, thinking back on it now, maybe I should have questioned the morality of such an act. However, when you're trying your damnedest to impress those who pay your wages, so as to progress up the ranks of any organisation, sometimes you have to turn a blind eye; a phrase that, given the near loss of one of mine, I'm not too fond of using. This being said, I now know to read the details of a contract before taking on any mission. Upon approaching the designated target, I performed a data scan for further information, revealing not one, but several automated defence turrets; this should have been my first warning that my subsequent actions would carry severe consequences. Ignorance, along with the substantial sum of credits I would receive upon completion, prevented common sense from taking hold. A further scan would highlight the linked power supply for the turret, which I'd need to disable in order to finish my business. With security service ships circling nearby, I cautiously deployed hardpoints & opened fire on the power supply unit. As the tiny module exploded, a notification on my comms panel informed me of the fine I'd incurred. Shrugging, I went to leave & was instantly attacked by the local security forces! I hit boost, hoping to clear the mass lock of the mega-ship with enough time to engage the FSD & escape, but I was too slow. First, my shields dropped, then my COVAS informed me of the rapid depletion of my hull & then, in an instant, I was once again in an escape pod! For someone with a fear of enclosed spaces, I was sure spending an unusual amount of time in them, of late! Waking up aboard, ironically, another mega-ship, I was informed that I'd been delivered to the detention centre, The Pillar of Fortitude, & would have to clear the existing fines for my assault of the TEN-902 Gordon-Class Hauler. Once all the paperwork was out of the way, I left in my Cobra, having had it replaced by the insurance contract I'd had the insight to take out. You would have thought that I would have, at that point, learned my lesson; well, you'd be wrong. I still had another similar contract in a neighbouring system to the first. Call it determination, if you wish, though I'd be tempted to attribute it to stupidity, I made my way to the Gendalla system, for another attempt at another high-payout mission. Faring better than my previous attempt, this time I successfully completed my objective & made my escape, just; flying through space, with a bounty on your head & with only 3% hull left on your ship, is not something I'd recommend!
Having amassed over 1 million credits, even after all fines & bounties had been paid, I decided that maybe I'd change tactics & steer clear of combat for a while. Fortune must have been happy with my decision, as soon enough, I received a message regarding a Federal Navy courier job in the Neche system. Once I'd delivered a number of trade commodities &, going back on the recent promise I'd made to myself, had brought a few more pirates to justice, I visited Leeuwenhoek Station in Neche, under the control of NLTT 21088 Bridge Network; so many different systems & corporations, I guess, warrants these lengthy names! My Navy contact there greeted me warily, no doubt having heard of my recent exploits, but somewhat reluctantly transferred the important data to my ship's computer, for it to be delivered to Wright City in Elli. And so, as I write this log, I sit in Wright Station, wondering where my next adventures will take me. Though I feel no closer in reaching the Formedine Rift than I did when I left my quarters back on Asellus 2, at least I now have credits &, more importantly, experience under my belt. If nothing else, both of these will stand me in better stead for whatever lies ahead.