Armored up... Sold out.
Picked up an incoming call from Colonia Hub.
Caller: “Commander Cramer?”
Me: “That’s me”
(C): “The armor package for your ship, ummm, one moment”
(C): “Uhhh yes sir, that’s correct. The package is on site and ready to install”
(M): “That’s great news, can we bring her in today and get going”?
(C): “Certainly sir. Just ask for Buddy in outfitting when you arrive and we’ll get it scheduled as soon as possible.”
(M): “Sounds good, we will get underway ASAP. Thanks for the call”!
I got up and wandered down the rocky hallways of the Junkyard in Kojeara and met Kaylen at her hole. “Hey, can you handle a few contracts this weekend while I get Narada’s armor fitted”? I asked her. “Not a problem, drop me the key for Edelweiss and Cannonball and I’ll take care of the open contracts”, she said. “Thanks Kaylen, I knew I kept you around for something” I said with a smirk and headed down to the docks.
Narada was sitting in the hanger waiting for me when I arrived and I rode up into the bridge. We’ve had her awhile now but I still enjoy walking into that bridge and the faint oder of plastic and electronics as she warms up. It’s been a long ride up from that loaner Sidewider and now we’ve got enough credits to do damn near anything we want. Soon we will have to pay back some of the loans made to get things going but Kaylen and I are a going concern now and soon enough we may need further help to cover the contracts. This ship has really changed the game now, hard to beat for an independent miner.
I powered up the ship and setup navigation to Colonia Hub and was on my way. This armor package was a long time coming. The encounter last week was a spur to get this done. It’s a hefty price tag but not the top-of-the-line. We have to balance defense with range since the our business of exploration and long-range mining needs to keep the jumps reasonable. However this adds about 80% more to our armor rating and it’s a good compromise.
Set down on the pad at Colonia Hub and got in touch with Buddy to get things underway. Buddy was a big burley dude that handled the welding on these beasts. I assume he spent his years somewhere with more gravity than this place as he looked a bit out of place with the taller, thinner folk around the station
Buddy: “So, I would say my crew can turn this around today actually”
Me: “Seriously! I was expecting to need to leave her here a few days?”
(B): “Nah, these kits are pretty good and there isn’t a lot of custom fitting work so we can really tear through the job fast. I have an interior and exterior crew so we get it all done at the same time”.
(M): “Well, excellent. I’ll spend some time drumming up some business and I’ll look forward to hearing from you today”.
(B): “Okay then, I’m going to get to it”.
I spent the day working up some cargo contracts to deliver goods back to Kojeara. No point in wasting a trip if I have time to make a little bit of money. I also spent some time in the SRV enjoying the sights around the hub. It’s a mountainous area and the large ringed planet makes for some dramatic views. Usually I’m in and out of there in a big damn hurry so it was nice to get a chance to look around. I found a vendor offering meals of actual fish and decided to splurge on a really good meal of grilled salmon and mash potatoes. Gods but real food is a joy. Just after the meal, I got the call. My ship was complete and ready to go in the hanger. Cargo for the two missions was loaded as well. I drop by to admire the new armored up hull as well as the fresh paint job applied to the ship. She’d been looking a bit ratty of late.
The welding crews were gone, now it was just salesmen and suits. The finance officer and what I assume was the shop boss met me and we arranged the transfer of an eye-watering sum of credits. The shop boss, Richard said “Was a pretty clean job really. The guys found a couple of cracks on the hull that we had to replace panels for, and some warped frame members that had to be cut and replaced as well. Small up-charge to deal with those but otherwise the rest went smooth”. My eye and attention were drawn instead to the back of the repair bay where uniformed crew were talking to some pilots that gave off ‘that vibe’. It looked like one handed off something but it was hard to tell. The gathering quickly broke up and I was handed a terminal to accept delivery of the ship pulling my attention back to the people at hand.
As I started the cruise out from the hub I was flipping through my nav history and I saw something that made me pause. “Last Accessed: 1-11-3305”. Someone had pulled my nav history. Went back several pages and sure enough, they had all been accessed. Everything from the last two trips out had been accessed and transferred to external storage. This shouldn’t be able to happen with the security settings, but the access logs confirm it.
“Shit. I guess my whereabouts are known now, and so is the offense/defense of this ship. I can either expect some company down the road as I return home or in the systems I’ve prospected.” I think to myself. The good news is though I’ve been through so many systems out there that any jackass looking to find me in the black still has a LOT of jumping to do for a fleeting chance of catching me in any given system. However, they now know with pretty good certainty where my home port is. I’ll never get anyone to admit the theft for the record or especially who they sold it to so the damage is done. Still, I’ll be on the horn to Colonia Hub to see if I can get someone canned. Either they logged who had access to the bridge and when they were working or they will have to admit to incompetence. Either way, someone is on the hook.
Nothing is ever easy I guess. Need to secure myself a crew for this kind of work that I can trust. The damn pirates have their tendrils everywhere.