In return for some exploration data and a few interesting samples collected from Earth like worlds, Palin has arranged for me to meet with one of the top anti-xeno commanders out there at the moment. A girl who goes by the name `Raven`. Palin advises me that she is `a bit of a unique character` but doesn’t give any more info away, other than she clearly knows her stuff when dealing with Thargoids, despite being only in her mid twenties. I’m still a little unsure about my tactics on how best to fight Thargoids, there is some good information out there, but some of it seems to be conflicting - there are various differing strategies. There is nothing like talking to someone experienced in real life to get the information you need.
I meet with Raven at the orbital bar for a couple of drinks. She certainly has presence; though her name doesn’t really effect her appearance (I was expecting black hair and dark clothes). I never know if extreme body modifications are to seek attention from others or just for that person to feel better about themselves. Maybe a bit of both. Raven looks more alien than human, which is ironic seeing as she fights against Thargoids. We exchange pleasantries and there are a few awkward moments while I convince her that I’m not a threat, after money or any sort of `romantic` interest. Once she realizes that I’m just here for information on fighting strategies, we are both a lot more comfortable.
Raven has light green skin, with animated tattoos of aliens drawn on her arms. They blink at me and scratch their scales. They are well drawn though and I cant help but admire the craftsmanship. She also has implants between her retinas and eyelids, I’ve seen these before. She can activate these membranes by thought and see light wavelengths beyond normal human vision. They also activate if there are any sudden bright lights, protecting her eyes from sudden blasts or direct laser shots. When activated, they glaze over and make her whole eye appear silver. From the knees down, she has artificial legs.
“This was from six months ago," she explains. “ I was up against an interceptor, when my ship went dead – I lost power to everything, a sitting duck. I had got too close to it and the field shutdown had caught me off guard. I was then hit by corrosive shells, which went straight through my hull. I nearly lost my life that day, but I just managed to get away. I lost my legs though… and my flying partner. I had no choice but to make a run for it as soon as I was back online, I never saw her again."
After a brief moment of recollection, she suggests that we have a look at my setup. “We’ll go for Thargoid scouts first. Seeing as you seem experienced at taking down some fairly tough pirates, the scouts shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. But they can be a little tricksy, so it will be good for experience."
I decide on taking the Krait out for this first run, a ship that I have had quite a bit of experience with and enjoy flying for combat. I can sense a proposal coming from Raven though. She is skint and without a functioning ship – she is grounded. Repairs to her heavily corroded and damaged dropship are on-going at a snails pace, as she slowly scrapes funds together. And this is where I come in. I work out what she is going to say next before she says it. I need the guidance on this, she needs a ship and she needs to get back out there ASAP.
“You can loan me if you like, just get me set up with a new hull and I’ll sort the hardpoints and utilities out from my dropship. Then I’ll come out hunting with you, show you the tricks of the trade."
“Sure, no problem. A loan if you like.” I agree and we head out to take a look at the Krait, to see what I have and what I need for the next encounter.