Spent yesterday haggling with several contractors negotiating the work to be done, timeline and price for the FSD upgrades. Not what I'd planned to do all day, but had to get done. Still no word from Ms. Todd's contact so we're not really out anything. We've got a couple of weeks slack time before we need to get back on the road towards Waypoint #6. Plenty of time.
After sitting in the departure queue at Jacques Station, watched a Dolphin get smoked by station security for loitering because traffic. I was watching the counter the whole time ready to punch it if it dropped below a minute.
After clearing the station we found a decent, non-hazardous res site in one of the inner rings of Ratraii AB 1. Moderate local security presence and plenty of dirty pirates. Spent some time providing security for mining operations in Ratraii and gathered some of the components on the list. Ms. Todd is pretty good in the Condor. Only lost one, granted she was out gunned by the two Eagles while I took out the wing leader in his Vulture. Didn’t help that local security bugged out shortly after engagement. Once we mopped up the rest of the pirates we headed to Foster’s Terminal in Coeus to visit the Material Trader there, then back to Jacques to get the ball rolling a little bit faster on those upgrades.
Received some chatter from Vel. She’s working a similar to-do list. Etienne Dorn provided her a list of materials to engineer lighter weight modifications to a few core internals to stretch the Corvette’s range to offset the addition of the fighter bay and larger SRV hangar. As we, Ms. Todd and I, were already kitted out for combat and still haven't heard anything from the dude we’re here to see, plotted a course to rendezvous with Vel to lend a hand. We winged up and launched the fighters, yeah Vel hired on a pilot to assist. Not sure if she’ll keep him after Colonia or not.
Anyway, we discovered it’s a lot easier to take out an Anaconda with an Elite pilot when it’s four on one. Nice odds if you ask me as long as they’re stacked in my favor. Good pickings from that sortie. Got us enough components to trade for the final round of upgrades to get the FSD maxed out. Good news all around.
After we got the heavies fully upgraded at Jacques took them out for a photo op. Vel decided to poke the hornets’ nest. Behold. Jacques Roulette.
To commemorate the additional 2.54 ly range I gave her a new coat of paint.
Received word from Ms. Todd’s contact. From what we can infer from the terse response to her 3 day old query he may actually know something. We’re off to Bolden’s Enterprise in Tir to meet with him. Hope the place has a bar. Regardless, as this situation is making my hair itch, we headed out in the Krait rather than the Cutter even if it took several more jumps to get there. I’d rather be ready for a scrape then get caught unarmed. As the engine hours continue to climb the delta between purchase price and resell widens. What’s a few million credits? Looks like I may be getting some of that 4 million back after all.
Docked at Bolden’s without any hostilities.
If you guessed that Ms. Todd’s old Marine Corps buddy requested we meet him in a dark out of the way location, you’d be dead wrong. Apparently, he has a corporate office here. Not sure why all the cloak and dagger to be honest if he has a marketing budget. Weird, but whatever.
Seems that as this region is in an investment state, there’s quite a bit of money to be made brokering business connections, intelligence, and other things that may or may not be purely legal. Ms. Todd introduced me to Mr. Cornelius Gates, retired Master Sergeant and intelligence broker. He, for a small fee, recommended we check out a crash site located somewhere near the Colonia 5 Gas Giant. There’s a Type 9 laying in a mountain range on one of the bodies orbiting Colonia 5. It has Caine-Massey written all over it. We shook hands, paid him his fee, and set back out to Colonia to find this wrecked freighter.
After scanning and launching a couple dozen probes we uncovered a distress signal on the moon orbiting Colonia 5e. On approach we both immediately got the feeling that something wasn’t right. A few passes over the crash site revealed several Sentinels and a Goliath patrolling the area. It’s clear from low altitude overflights that this wreck has been here for a while.
Why is it being patrolled rather than cleaned up? Doesn’t make sense. Lucky for us I installed several PDCs otherwise we’d have taken a few unfriendly missiles up the exhaust. Collected a couple fines from the Jacques Faction for engaging their security system with main guns. Why is Jacques protecting that site for Caine-Massey and what do they have to do with her brother’s death or disappearance? Another thing that makes no sense.
Eventually we're heading back to Bolden’s to initiate a stern discussion with Mr. Gates. My crewmember is Marine Corps level pissed. Can’t say as I blame her much as I’m not a happy space camper myself. Plus side, Bolden’s has an Interstellar Factor to pay those fines. Sure as hell not going to Jacques to do it. Probably get engaged by SysSec as soon as I drop out of cruise. No thanks.
Hopefully our next visit with Mr. Gates will be more fruitful than our last. Going to head out and do some pirate interdiction to blow off some steam. It’s fun and will most likely save Mr. Gates’ life in the long run.
Until next time commanders, see you in the black.
Flemish Jack - OUT