Darkport... just the name is enough to make a CMDR think twice about showing up there without some sort of business. Fortunately for me, I learned about Darkport from my father way back when I was first setting up my own trade routes. He told me that it was in Federation space, in the Calarum system, and that I needed to be careful if I ever ventured there. Li Yong-Rui controls that sector of space, and he's a dangerous foe to have if you get on his bad side. Not only that, but it's the home of Project Elite.. or was. I met a guy once who used to frequent that place. At the time, it was "a proud centre for advanced pilot training". Now when you go there the place is in shambles. Pirates have been attempting to take over the system from the federation, and it doesn't seem like Li Yong or anyone else much cares. If you can somehow manage to get through the waves of pirates in the system who are hungry for just about any cargo from outside of the system, and if you know how to sweet talk a traffic control operator, landing at Darkport is about the same as anywhere else, minus the ominous words around the mail slot saying "Never Surrender" and "Rise Up Now".. a sort of last ditch effort by some forgotten group to rebel against whatever power held the station at the time. A few old timers are still around though. They attempt to make a living, despite the pirates, to live up to the Project Elite name and train new pilots. I can't say that these new "pilots" are much to look at. Half of them are starved, and the other half come from elsewhere in the bubble looking for some promise of glory or whatever. My reason for going to Darkport today? Credits. Pure and simple. I mined one hundred and six tons of void opals at my secret spot and needed a place to dump them for a good profit. A tip told me that I could sell high in LTT 9315, but upon arriving at Wheelock Prospect, I found out that another CMDR had beat me there just minutes prior and sold his opals.. which effectively dropped the going rate and cut me out of profit by over half of what I had been told I could make. I decided I'd try another spot, and wouldn't you know, Darkport was looking for opals. Not surprising since they specialize in extraction anyways. My hundred and six tons netted me a sweet 175,947,174 credits. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon if I say so myself and I was only interdicted once along the way. THAT got my heart pounding!! Here's the thing about my little Asp, it's perfectly named. I used to use it for literally everything before I inherited my family's fleet. Now that I have bigger and better ships, it got repainted, re-modded, and relegated to mining duty. It's PERFECT for mining, just like it is for many other things. The issue is, once it's set up for a certain role, it makes it much poorer at other roles. It's a multi-role ship, don't get me wrong, but it's only meant to do ONE role at a time. Being set up for mining, my little Explorer literally stands "a snowball's chance in hell" of surviving a fight. It's stripped down to be as light and agile as possible. It's not engineered in any way, and it has the shield equivalent of a wet paper bag. The nice thing about it though is that in the event of being interdicted, even fully loaded, it's agile enough to escape. Thank goodness for it too, because one pulse shot and my shields are toast, and the next my hull is melting and my ship would pop like an over-inflated balloon. Having a father and an uncle who are no strangers to combat flying helps too. A few neat maneuvers and the interdictor didn't stand a chance. Anyways, I'm going to go try to find a decent meal in this dump. I know a neat little spot that makes a dish similar to what I ate as a kid back home and it's not half bad. The trick now will be plotting a course back to Ch'Eng with only a hundred ly jump range or so. That means a fuel stop somewhere along the way.. hopefully.