5 – Sharp Practice

19th September 3301 – 22:36

Mukesh Premji formalized my new position as captain of the Melville as soon as we got back to Ravenclan’s Astro Lab, apparently satisfied with the way I handled myself during the rather sensitive docking at Hutton Orbital. Although he wasn’t short on praise, his mind seemed elsewhere, whether still preoccupied with the death of Captain Edward Smith or with the recent catastrophic figures from Dinda Universal Industry that Shiv had just brought to his attention, he excused me from duty.

I used the opportunity to go back to Goldstein Port in Lembava and to the Sirius Corporation head quarters. I met with one of their representative who admittedly said they had been wondering how long it would take me to come up here.
“You must have many questions.” He said.
“So many questions, in fact, I wouldn’t known where to begin, but I came with an information: Hugh Caplin is alive.”
“Yes, we know.”

They had done their homework. Not only they already knew Caplin was alive, but they were also aware of his real identity and were actually closing in on his location. A contact within the Tangaroa Jet Organization, in Sovica, was in possession of valuable information. But all good information comes with a price.

Tangaroa

Sovica in Tangaroa

The Sirius representative invited me to go to Sovica and meet with their contact. He also assured me I wouldn’t be working alone as one of their most trusted agent would be joining me in Sovica.
An unregistered ship was waiting on the docking bay for me to take to Sovica…

DBE in Goldstein

22nd September 3301 – 15:45

Tangaroa is only a short jump away, yet such a foreign and out of place system. Reaching this Imperial stronghold had me thinking for an instant of a Frame Shift Drive malfunction. I had to double check on my position in the Galmap to ensure I hadn’t misjumped.

Sovica is in sight…

Imperial traffic control really do have a special way about them, I don’t know if it is the all too often plummy voice of their staff or the slightly over the top politeness but they always manage to snatch a ‘much obliged’ from me…

DBE in Sovica

All I have to do now is wait for their man from the Tangaroa Jet Organization to contact me and for my wingman to arrive.
I decided to stay aboard the ship for the time being as being back in this Imperial environment is making me somewhat uneasy.

24th September 3301 – 18:21

I had to leave the ship eventually as no one had bothered turning up yesterday. Thankfully, I had not spent my time simply waiting. I went through every system inside the Diamondback Sirius Corp had provided in order to familiarize myself with this new vessel. A very different ship indeed and it seemed pretty clear what the purpose of this one was going to be, just by going through some of the installed modules… A cargo scanner, hatch breaker, heat sinks and some more… I was beginning to appreciate the fact nobody had come forward so far.

I was finally about to take off and leave Sovica when a Python came in to dock and opened comms with my ship…

Matzov in sovica

This good old Cmdr Matzov once again, had just arrived and instructed me to set the comms systems on a special frequency. The voice of a third man came through:
“Greetings gentlemen, I can see your employers have finally came to their senses. You can already tell them that I don’t know where your precious professor is hiding but what I do know on the other hand, is who is holding him… and I’m not sure how much they’re going to like this.”

Of course, our anonymous contact needed something in return, a little favor on the side as he liked to call it.
An important set of blueprints were to leave Sovica and smuggled out of Tangaroa by a group of newcomers, self-proclaimed pirates. The blueprints weren’t exactly sensitive material, but the Tangaroa Jet Organization needed to send a message across to any outsiders, while maintaining a low profile in Tangaroa.
They needed us to disrupt any pirate activity outside the Jet Organization. We were free to keep any stolen cargo for ourselves as payment for the operation.

Our faceless contact ended up the conversation by stating we would no longer hear from him as he would be contacting the Sirius Corp directly after the job was done.
Ivan Matzov locked onto my Drive and said:
“Let’s get to it, shall we?”

24th September 3301 – 18:57

We’ve been stalking outside Sovica for about half an hour now and still nothing…

Sovica stalk

The colonel is stationed just a few kilometers away, monitoring security activity and overall traffic, while I’m discreetly scanning the cargo hold of every single ship making their way out of Sovica…

Scan T6 Sovica

The Diamondback is running so cold, I don’t think the starport security patrols have even begun to suspect anything…
Granting I am just a glitch on their radar, and trying to stay in the shadows as much as possible, it’s only a matter of time until one of them manages to spot my ship… the sooner we find those blueprints and who exactly we’re after, the better.

25th September 3301 – 1:15

“Did you see this one go!” said Matzov,
I could have easily missed the Asp leaving the station if it wasn’t for the loud thump of his boost piercing my eardrums. This one was in a rush. We decided to follow him and scan his cargo before he could jump away. I don’t think he realized he was being followed, as he slowed down once at a good distance from the station…

scanning joe 3

As soon as the cargo scanner initiated, the Asp picked up speed and engaged his Hyperdrive. This had to be good…

joe blueprints

“Bingo! I think we found those blueprints, Colonel.”
“Good, but this one is cleaner than a priest on sunday…”
Clean as he may be, Joe Collett disappeared in front of us leaving only his wake.

following joe

“Baldr System… next door. Are you locked?”
“Of course I’m locked, let’s go…”

28th September 3301 – 15:23

We found Collett in the Bladr System… Just a blip on the radar, seconds before he dropped out of supercruise, obviously aware of being chased.

robbing joe

We then patrolled Baldr and Tangaroa with the colonel for days without docking, expelled Collett’s known accomplices out of the region without failing to collect their stolen cargo every time.
Ivan Matzov’s much larger ship allowed for deep space resupply when I would run out of hatch breaking limpets or fuel…

swap

Robbing those guys didn’t quite feel right, though. I did ask the colonel if he too, felt that we weren’t worth more than the bandits we were bullying…
“Ah, man up Taylor. You know they’re scum.”
Before adding:
“Don’t let those credits make it to the Bank of Zaonce just yet and I’ll show you the difference between us and them.”

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