The NPCs – Part 2 – Stranded

Day 3: My scanners have detected what seems to be a settlement of some kind. I’m going in, not much choice, if I don’t land soon then I’ll be stuck. It’s not far, and I should be able to land close. It’s the 3rd moon of the only planet in system.

Day 4: I got down safe, but the place is deserted. There’s dust everywhere, but no sign of recent habitation. The power is still on though, thank the universe for solar energy. There seems to be food too, both frozen and dehydrated, and a plentiful supply of water. Unfortunately, no fuel store I’m going to be here a while.

Day 5: Dammit, the comms are out. No way I’m getting a message out of here in a hurry. Between this and the damage to my ship, bah… not fun.

Day 12: The ship’s computer is up, and I was able to patch up the canopy. I seriously could use an AFM unit right now though. Not that it’d do me much good without fuel, but it’s a start. The base transmitters are a no hoper though. Going to have to scavenge what I can to boost the ship’s signal. At least I’m alive.

Day 48: Found a crashed fighter today, a condor. The remains of the pilot were still slumped over the console. Not the most fun. Still, there was water, and I was able to scavenge some parts. No idea what the pilot was thinking though, piloting it locally… unless the mothership was too far gone. Who knows.

Day 51: I got a signal out, I think. I called the Fuel Rats. With help from then I might get off this dustball. At least the food’s holding up, there were supplies for 8 people in the base.

Day 89: I think I found the mothership for the fighter from before. If it is, then I am no longer surprised the pilot left in the fighter. Even from a distance it’s obviously infected with… something. There are barnacles growing out from inside it.

Day 102: Well, that’s it for exploring. I have no more fuel for my SRV, and haven’t been able to find anything to synthicise. Still no response to my SOS either.

Day 306: Had a visitor today. There was a boom high in the sky and a ship flew over. Didn’t respond to my comms though, just scanned my ship and flew off over the horizon.

Day 307: Damn that pilot. Must have come back last night. There were SRV tracks all round my camp and my supplies had been ransacked. Even more urgent that help arrives soon now. I sent another message out. All I can do now is pray.

Fuel Rats FR-603/Mission Report: We found the ship. But it’s long dead; it’s pilot a skeleton, and a slow leak in the cannopy. We think, no… we’re sure he died in his sleep over 4 years ago. I have no idea how a ship like this got out this far. The fuel scoop looks like it was patched together from old modular terminals, and the FSD’s fried. If only we’d got here soon enough to pick him up… But the ship wasn’t going anywhere. 

We found some logs, attempting to decrypt while we head home. See you in six months, dispatch. FR-603 signing off.

The NPCs – Part 1 – Fergie

Lt. Fergie Lance sat in the bar, nursing her beer. It wasn’t a bad brew, to be sure, but it just went to highlight how badly the rest of her day had gone. Another ship lost, another fine from the Federation Navy. “If only they’d let me visit the engineers” she thought, “it might have been different”.

She’d just finished a shift, and was drinking away the sorrows of losing yet another Federal Assault ship in a local RES. The fine for losing it would cost her the whole day’s wages, and more. It’s not like the Federal Navy paid it’s pilots that much to begin with. At least she didn’t have to cover the insurance. At this rate she’d be flying a Federal Sidewinder by the end of the month.

It had all been going so well too. She’d been patroling the High Intensity RES site with her wing, as usual, protecting miners and other civilian traffic from the scum of the galaxy, something she was rather proud of, when one of those Pilots Federation types dropped into the instance. Immediately she had her wingmate scan the newcomer, to be safe, since you can never trust anyone who calls themselves Commander, and reassured, carried on the patrol.

That’s when it went wrong. They were taking out a wing of pirates when the Pilots Federation ship just joined in the frey. Fergie sighed, she’d seen this behaviour before, but there wasn’t much she could do. The law allowed bounty hunters, and sometimes she was happy for their assistance. Not that this one seemed to be doing a lot of good.

As the last pirate died, the comms channel errupted with the Pilots Federation commander screaming into the void about “kill stealing” and vengeance. Probably just hadn’t done enough damage to share the bounty, but that never stopped them before. 

The next thing they knew, the commander was showing as part of a wing and three more of them dropped in, forming up around … him, her? It was hard to tell due to static on the channel to be fair. A warning alarm sounded, she was being scanned…

Moments later, her world had gone to hell. The Pilots Federation commander’s cobra had been joined by a clipper, a python and an anaconda. And they all opened up at once, Fergie’s entire wing decimated in a hail of munitions. It was hours before they were picked up by the corvette Argonaut and taken home to the station. Worse, the enemy wing had got away with it. Sure there was a bounty on them now, but they rarely stuck.

Fergie slowly shook her head. She expected the Pilots Federation group were laughing over mugs of gin or  brandy by now in some distant system, about how they’d killed the Feds again. She thought about checking the Frontier Forum, but without posting rights there – only Pilots Federation members got that, she’d only make herself even more depressed. Better to just suck it up and hope she didn’t get demoted again.

She finished her drink, looked around the bar, and left.