The Alliance has slowly woken up to what is happening on its own back door. The Old Worlds have been suffering at the hands of pirates and brigands and the rot needs to be halted and reversed. Why it takes so long for a consensus to be reached on this is beyond me.
The Zaonce Jet Gang have been identified as major contributors, and a mission profile set up for the independent pilots to take them down. This is bread and butter for a mercenary.
Its also a chance to try out a new combat configuration and settle into a ship that I haven't properly flown before.
Three light security Eagles start nipping at the heels of an anaconda. I have to admire their bravery but this clearly isn't going to go far or for long. One limps away to a safe distance with collapsed shields, while the others press the attack.
Boosting into range and opening fire catches the brute by surprise. Those Eagles are nimble and need focus to take down. Turning towards me to engage is too little and too late though, and the hull pops a few moment thereafter.
The police drift off without even acknowledging the debt, searching for the next target.
Returning from an R&R at Ridley Scott, the drop into the RES wasn't as smooth as I'd hoped for. Two eagles pounced on me after egress and gamely tried pounding at my shields. How they knew where I was I'll never know: perhaps one of those fortuitous opportunities for a desperate act.
Deploy weapons. Boom. Boom.
Shields barely scratched.
The confidence of the local sec forces is visibly growing by the hour. Patrols are larger and, if possible, engage gang members even more aggressively.
The miners continue on, rarely troubled by a pirate or brigand now.
Desperation sometimes catches you unaware though, as risks are taken and small groups of pirates can work well together as a team. Multiple ships are thrown into the fray and an Imperial clipper with an anaconda in tow make for harder targets when they're in the same volume of space. Not impossible though as I commit to the engagement.
Bait for a trap however.
Two vipers and a cobra jump in and, with the Zaonce Jet Gang trying some tactics for once, I've actually got a fight against the odds on my hands.
Ducking and weaving around an asteroid and out of the line of sight buys some time. Forcing the pirates to stare into a star creates options and more room to manoeuvre as well. The brief respite gives me some thinking time, and almost at the point of deciding to fall away from the battle using asteroid cover, when something makes me glance towards the blinding light of the sun.
Three security eagles race out of the sun and across my weapon's line of sight, one with heavily scarred and very recent hull damage.
Four ships emerge from behind the asteroid and out of the brightness of the nearby star, where only one had sought concealment. The vipers both peel off in a panic and leave the cobra exposed to withering fire.
My turn not to acknowledge a debt repaid.
Finally. Its over.
The space around Zaonce has been reclaimed for the Alliance and the local criminal elements, which have been a significant hindrance over the past few months, have been driven back into their dark hiding holes.
A discreet light blinks on the console signifying an incoming message. I've missed it in all of the combat and hope its nothing too important.
An invite from Gearwright to a tourist market opening up in Quivira. Eyebrows furrow for a moment as there is a lack of... understanding... on my part. It seems to be going on about a holiday.
A quick catch up on GalNet and its clear our old friend Patreus is building up more of his war chest again. So I'm in need of a break after all.
Also a few quiet words to someone about being so bloody obvious!