Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sudden death, and the man with 13 toes

Locutus ofBorg was his name. (No, he's not the one with 13 toes. At least, not that I know of. That comes later.) I knew of him, back when he was JeanLuc Picard. A good man, I'd heard. I had been saddened to learn that he had become assimilated by the Borg, and was now calling himself Locutus. Wherever he went, so went death. The two travelled together, you see. Locutus led his Borg and death followed him around.

Today it was my turn to meet them.

I was wandering the asteroid belts, looking for a pirate to fight. I was keeping in mind my new rule of only fighting those I thought I might win against, and avoiding the rest.

Suddenly my overview was flashing red as Locutus ofBorg warped into the belt. I immediately checked to see what kind of ship he was flying. And then something bad happened. Something really bad.

First there was the distinct lack of response from the ship, and all I could see was the flashing red alert, but nothing else was happening.

"Dammit!" I yelled in my mind, flailing my arm in the gel and managing to hit the wall of the pod. "What's wrong with you, you piece of junk!"

I guess I shouldn't have done that, 'cause everything went dark. The neural interface with the ship had shut itself down, probably in protest at my abuse. I was effectively blind.

With a number of interestingly phrased expletives that I better not repeat here, I reactivated the neural links. While the pod was powering itself up again, and I was logging back into the ship, I could only wonder what had been happening outside.

Finally the links came to life and I could see via the camera drone again. The failsafes had warped the ship away from the area when the internal power went down, and I was happy to discover that it was undamaged. The ship was warping back to the belt, and I could see that Locutus had been joined by a friend. I guessed that the friend had been assimilated too, as he wasn't quite flashing red, but was almost there....

As soon as I was able to, I tried warping away, knowing that staying here probably wouldn't be a good idea. Unfortunately, Locutus's friend, Linkin Frost, was in an Arbitrator cruiser and had me scrambled and webbed before my ship's warp drives could properly engage.

Resistance was futile, and so I relaxed - if you could call it that - while awaiting the inevitable.

The Apocalypse, piloted by Locutus, began its energy beam assault. I watched as my shields disappeared. My armour began vapourising, and I half-heartedly switched on the armour repair unit, knowing full well it would be useless against the battleship. I was right.

I didn't even bother firing my weapons or releasing my drones, as it was obvious that anything I could try to do would be useless, and my ship would be destroyed before it could do anything effective.

Quickly reinforcing the pod's shock absorbers for the coming explosion, I sat there watching the display of brilliant energy beams impacting against my ship. It was actually a beautiful sight, and when you take the time to enjoy it, the end doesn't hurt as much. Unfortunately, time went by all too fast.

I was surprised when the echoing explosion faded away. The silence was eerie after so much sudden violence. Then I remembered where I was, and engaged the warp drive to head to the nearest station. As the pod quickly aligned and began the warp startup procedure, I breathed a sigh of relief when it reached 90%. I was going to get away!

But then my pod was locked and scrambled as well, and inside it, I cringed. This was going to hurt.

It did.

I woke up in my new clone, which was in the next system over. Annoyed at losing my ship, I found that another Vexor was at least 6 jumps away, so I bought myself a shuttle. Before heading to pick up a new Vexor, I went back to the system I'd been podded in, just to say hello. I think they were surprised to see me back there so quickly, and I engaged in small talk with them for a few minutes.

I also tried talking to JeanLuc Picard, who I knew was inside Locutus somewhere. I wanted to reach him, to give him hope. I think most people thought I was weird, talking to someone who wasn't in local with us. Locutus laughed. Have you ever heard a Borg laugh? An eery sound...

Sitting near a station while chatting, I was engrossed in paying Warlord Neurotoxin 1,000 ISK to look at the 13 toes of a man that he knew. So engrossed, in fact, that I didn't notice Eldwinn had undocked with his Apocalypse battleship and locked onto me. But I certainly noticed the sounds of incoming fire!

It looked like he wanted to take a swipe at me too, so I 'ran the gauntlet' of his attack in my attempt to dock. Happily, my shuttle survived the battleship's attack longer than my cruiser did, and I docked with a sigh of relief.

As Eldwinn complained about how I was inside the range of his weapons (much to my relief!), I discovered that the Warlord's information about the 13-toed man was simply relating to what an agent occasionally told him. At least I knew where to find this agent, although I felt the price of seeing the 13 toes might end up being a bit more than just 1,000 ISK.

By this time I was tired, so I shut down the systems in the shuttle and went to sleep.

To be continued....

2 comments:

  1. How did they catch your pod...seems to me that Cruisers take a long time to target that 25m sig radius of your pod

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  2. I figured it'd be easier to get podded to get back to my clone than to make my way there in a pod through hostile territory. Saved a lot of time.

    :-)

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