Food Flight

And there it is! I just realised I hadn’t shown a lightwell properly before.

That’s one right there – the big glowing thing that looks a bit like a dumbbell. Simply hover in the middle and wait, perhaps scrabbling to grab the spoils if you’re woken by the explosions of some poor rube’s moth. Easy.

You might have noticed I’m in Gamma crater. This is largely because I got lost. But no matter – I have no enemies, and am currently the least profitable target on Titan for anyone, so I may as well explore a little.

Ooh. I’d forgotten about this. A couple of the tunnels connecting craters are partially natural caverns. These are popular ambush points, so wise traders generally don’t hang around here very much. Tricky areas to fight in, too, as there’s little room for fancy flyin’ tricks.

Nothing going on at the moment though. There doesn’t seem to be much traffic at all, in fact. Tum tee tum. I stop off at an inn for a while, just for flavour.

Back at alpha, I finally run into a fight. Lazarus corp have apparently decided they don’t like the vaguely racist-sounding Claude Darkback, and explain this to him in their native language of lasers. He doesn’t take the hint and they have to repeat it until he dies, presumably of embarassment. Cuh.

More scrap for me! He was carrying some scrap of his own in fact, so I wolf both pieces up like a dog at the dinner table.

I chill briefly at a lightwell with a survivor of the same shootout, whose name is April Silverchav. Which is a little unfortunate. I don’t say anything though, and try very hard not to think it either lest she kicks my head in.

After (probably) charging enough, I fly off and frankly, am baffled for quite some time. The amount of traffic has dropped an awful lot, and nothing much is even showing up on the radar. Come midnight of day 5, I receive a “calling all filthy jackals” message from Downtown Recycling asking for scrap. With nothing else going on, I use my new system to target their building (although only after flying around the whole crater trying to find them manually, to no avail. I am nothing if not a luddite), and pay them a visit.

Much later in the day, another fracas outside Alpha Trading Post sees someone drop 5 units of food practically in the airlock. Violating my “keep well out of trouble” policy on the grounds that being a filthy scavenger is all about moments like this, I zoom in and grab the cargo before whoever killed its former owner can stop me.

Nobody attacks, but I dock at the trading post immediately, and flog it for 500 Yen apiece. Instantly, I am elevated! Over three grand in my account means it’s time for another upgrade.

With my cargo gone, only the most vindictive pirate would harass me even after a cheeky steal like that, so I’m safe to simply fly off to a weapons dealer in Downtown, possibly while whistling.

In exchange for a third of my cash, the genteel and professional Psycho Bob installs a laser for me, and after some deliberation, I also plump for a pack of 10 Sprat missiles.

Sprats are very basic heat-seekers. They’re best used on unshielded targets, and can be fooled by both flares and chaff, but they’re not to be ignored, as they pack a fair punch and may distract an enemy for a few moments while I scarper. With my leftover cash I buy Flight software, improving my ship’s controls, and finally power software, which will finally give me a breakdown on my ship’s general health.

You can see the power readout in the top left – the top bar is energy (or ‘power’, whatever), the middle is shields, and the bottom cycles between main ship components – ‘structure’ being the most important, as this is the integrity of the moth, without which I am just a shouty lunatic in an extremely heavy airborne chair.

So, six days after taking to the skies, I’ve scavenged up a set of basic software and a bare bones combat loadout, without firing a single shot. Not bad. Now I just have to figure out where the hell everyone has gone. I’ve barely seen anyone all day. Maybe business is booming in another crater and nobody told me. That’d be just like them, too, the spoilsports.

Fortunately, I discover the cause before I even realise it. It’s not an economy thing.

Downtown, I notice a large flashing purple light in a corner. Clustered up around it on my radar are over a dozen moths, hovering motionless. On moving closer, my controls are disabled by the source of the light. An unknown craft, hovering silently for a while, then plummeting to the ground in a fireball.

On its death, everyone’s moths comes to life, including the many people who’d been immobilised twenty feet from their worst enemies. Chaos ensues.

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Filed under Hardwar, It's a Hardlife

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