After the fiasco with the Thargoid sensor fragment missions, I decided to go and do errands for some of the other engineers to get good standing with them. Juri Ishmaak was next on the list, and his "unlock" (for lack of a better term) was to do claim 50 combat bonds for the Feds. Rather than try risking losing the Corsair II in any sizable skirmish, I went in with my Diamondback Scout, the "Super Mako" to do the deeds.
It was... well, quite frankly not rewarding. Bunch of pilots fighting over territory trying to keep out invaders, or trying to expand into a system who's inhabitants prefer to great new competitors with a gun in their face. The bonds themselves were issued per ship destroyed, and thankfully not what I initially thought was per battle. Which is a good thing because there was a fair number of times I had to skedaddle out with full thrusters and heat vents closed. It did prove the age old Plasma + Rails combo was up to the task, but I frequently had trouble with the faster targets (naming Eagles) and often ran low on railgun slugs.
Anyway, after getting that mess done and unlocking Juri, I visit him with some credits in tow; As I docked, the liaison for Juri asked for the entrance fee, which I reached for my card and she promptly said "combat bonds, only." I just looked at her with my usual frown, and she smiled slightly. "Well, I'll be back in an hour. Keep the coffee for me warm, please"
I just picked the closest warzone I could find on the galaxy map and jumped there, only to find that it was actually a blight affected system, which is fairly rare to me. I rechecked the settings and went to the *correct* warzone this time, and shot down a few more delusional patriots, and nothing more.
Coming back to Juri's place about an hour later than I said I'd be back, I find a different liaison that was unfortunately less cute, but competent none the less. He asked me for the combat bonds and I grudingly forked it over. "Do you have any coffee that I may have?" I asked. "Sorry, the last complimentary cup for today was served about an hour ago. We have some in limited supply that you can buy, if you'd be interested"
Again, I donned my usual frown. "No, thank you." Honestly, my luck must have been bestowed upon me by some god who had a thing for Shakespearean dramas.
I finished up business with Juri just so I could get introduced to the other two engineers in his club, Juri himself didn't really have anything useful although at one point I do want to experiment with combat with Mines and Rockets (more commonly known as dumbfire missiles)
Next up for today was The Sarge and I already had the Abberrant Shield Data ready for him, so I picked him over Dekker who was asking for 1Mil in combat bonds (blah.) Gained the Sarge's trust up to about lvl 4 blueprints and headed back home to Wolf 397.
I still had a few more hours in the day so I took out the ol' Sneak to play around with. I've had it almost as long as I had Crook, but never really flew it much because I didn't know what would be a good role for it, or for that matter what a good loudout would be. Twin shotguns seemed to work fairly well from my previous test in hazres sites, but the beam turret was not living up to expectations. This time I wanted to try out the incendiary rounds on a multicannon to see if it would do well against shields. So I did a quick visit with Todd to get one going, and prowled around in the system for a bit.
Took down two newbie pirates in eagles fairly easy enough, but I didn't really chalk it up as a win for the multicannon since I knew the chumps probably couldn't afford good shielding yet.
And then lo and behold, a Novice commander decided he wanted a bit of fun and interdicted me. So, I took the opportunity to give the multicannon a more true test and it worked brilliantly. Although I couldn't slag his hull fast enough before he could jump away, I did manage to persue him twice to try to sell the point that picking a fight with a random Commander probably isn't a good idea, even if he is in a lowly Imperial Eagle and you have a nice comfy Krait II. Hopefully he learned from that the second time I tried to interdict him.