It started with a strange communication from Research Department of the Imperial Navy…
Grade ‘1’ as they call it is a shoot to kill classification if you reveal any details to anyone not connected with a mission. This was way above my normal work for the Empire, but I guess someone had slipped in a good word about my recent successes in HIP 118169, helping to expand the control of the Empire Group faction over the system station Peters Market. Since then I’ve been bounty hunting in my Vulture, collecting rewards from Pirates and other Criminals operating in Empire space.
This mission means I’ll have to put the Vulture in to storage and re-specify my Asp in to a full exploration setup, now I’m off on a research trip in to the dark regions of space.
Reinforced Alloys added to the hull, they weigh a bit extra but help keep the wear’n’tear down. I won’t need any cargo space for this trip, some maintenance units and a hull reinforcement package would be more beneficial.
Shield Boosters for that little extra protection when skimming the stars for fuel. Will keep the Kill Warrant Scanner and a pair of Beam Lasers just in case there is any trouble!
My only ‘extra’ is some decent food and drink for the journey. I can’t stand the printed stuff from the food cartridges, they’ll be for emergency use only. If I’m going off to deep space I need steaks and I also need my beers and rum.
Packing finished I log with the station that I’m off to Achenar on a courier mission, I’ll drop a fake ship transponder when I jump to cover my real destination.
As we leave, my ship, Hofuð, seems to be just as excited about the change of role, moving away from Bounty Hunting and Trading to do what she was designed for. There seems to be a hum of contentment in the cabin, probably just my imagination.
I open the encoded list… Not much information on there, just a single system name and location – PRAEA EUQ PN-A C14-10. I guess I’ll get more information when I get there.
First jump takes me in the direction of Achenar and I drop the decoy, drop out FrameShift, select a new destination and jump again. I do this several times in quick succession to cover our tracks before plotting the real course. By this time it’s getting late and I’d rather be wide awake and fresh for real start of mission, so we set down at HIP 70576 to get some rest after the days excitement.