smuggling

Commander’s Log [Cmdr William Gearwright] : [ISDV Canonical Whimsy : [Dulos/Dulos 6/Wilson Ring] : [3301/04/15]

[Report Summary] Currently docked in Wilson Ring around Dulos 6, Dulos

[Manifest] Empty.

[Incidents] Nothing to report.

[Signed] Cmdr William Gearwright of the ISDV Canonical Whimsy (Core Dynamics Eagle Mk2), Antfarm Consolidated of Dulos.


[Private Entry/Decrypted/Relp4432-RACK990] [embeds enabled] When I was a kid, a teenager I mean, back on Six I was always the one who could sense danger on a night out. A group of us would walk into a bar and I’d feel a ‘tingle’, a ripple of wrongness moving through me, and I grab the arm of the one nearest to me and start ushering people out. Something in the bar ‘smelt’ wrong, ‘felt’ wrong and I knew I had to get away. More than once this weird sense saved us all from a nasty fight and I used to thank my lucky stars that I was sensible enough to listen to this over-active nerve ending. But then, over the years, I seemed to have stopped listening. Maybe life became too routine or too busy or I got too damn old but I gradually forgot how to listen to the warnings. Well I’m listening now.

A few days ago I took a contract from the Old Man to recover lost MilTech, Nothing new there as I’d spent the best part of the previous week collecting lost data, artwork, and cargo for a variety of customers – some of them were even the legit owners of the cans I was running down, so I don’t think anything was different about the request to locate and retrieve 1t of lost can 1 system over. Hell, I didn’t even pause when I saw just how much the Oluf Worker’s Party were willing to pay for this can and, looking back, that should have been my first clue something was off kilter with the job.

LTT9494 is an hole filled by nothing but a star and it certainly seemed empty when I dropped in to search for the can sig. It took me a while but I found it, pinging weakly in the black, but when I dropped out it became clear immediately it was a sting. There was an Adder waiting for me, weapons stowed and broadcasting “Don’t shoot!” messages the second I folded out of SC. I didn’t wait. I didn’t reply. I just ran and didn’t look back. Still, the bastard hacked my comms and dropped a message on me claiming he was from the DDP back in Dulos and knew I was searching for the military tech for the OWP – he then offered to pay more, a lot more, if I handed it to them instead and all I had to do was agree to accept a change of contract. By the time I’d hit SC and the Whimsy screaming away from the Adder, I had already picked up a plethora of new signals, some small which could have been the can, other huge which the Whimsy calculated where deep system sweeps. I was being hunted.

All this time I’d been in touch with an old friend from Lugh over secure comms. I just know him as Charybdis and having seen him in combat I could see why; I was there naively defending the democratic ideal and I did that right up to the point Halsey murdered 9,000 innocent people, but Charybdis, well he’s different, he’s an interesting chap with complex motivations and I’m glad he was on the same side as me. We were talking when the deal started to go bad and I don’t mind admitting that I found myself wishing he was a lot closer than 150lys away when it did. He asked if I’d thought about jumping out and I’d by lying if I said that right at that point I was contemplating just that but with my thumb hovering over the FSD button, the Whimsy pipped up to notify me she had analysed the small & weak signals and identified one with a 97.64% probability of being the can I was out there for so I took the chance and went for it.

Let me tell you, she may be a new bird but the Whimsy didn’t let me down, I found the can (along with some others pinging away as ProtoTech), scooped and started the countdown to Dulos in less than a minute. When the Old Man said ‘fast’ I took him at his word.

I was 10k from Wilson when I began a manual system shut down ready for a silent dock and I’m glad I did. Maybe I haven’t stopped listening to that nerve after all, or maybe something about being double-crossed and hunted sharpens one’s focus, because just as I went black a wing of DDP long range fighters dropped out and began to fan out along clear search vectors all around the station approach. I was off sensors but I still had to contact the station which can be risky but I had one last thing in my favour – the Old Man had the berth pre-arranged and so I hit boost once and sailed past the DDP ships and patrolling SysSec like a whisper straight through the toast rack and to my pad. At times like that I like to imagine the faces of the ATC guys in the con tower, poor bastards.

I’m docked now, the cans long gone, removed from my hold and whisked away by a waiting ghost ground crew. No interactions between us took place with all authentications occurring over secure data comms leaving no records behind so that to all intents and purposes nothing happened and the records exist to can prove just that. In the meantime I’ve started the Whimsy on a self-diagnosis protocol just in case the Adder has transmitted any surprises and made myself a cup of tea while I wait, wait and think. Who the hell set me up and why? The OWP? The DDP? The like the DDP for it over the OWP but I can’t say I trust either of them. It’s starting to look like Dulos isn’t as ready for my return as I thought.

I think I need to talk to an old friend over a very, very secure comm channel. Maybe he can make some sense of this mess and then, after I’ve had some sleep, I’ll pick up these waiting messages from Paws, the explorer I met months ago as he headed out into deep space. I wonder what he wants?

Commander’s Log [Cmdr William Gearwright] : [ISDV Canonical Whimsy] : [Dulos/Dulos 6/Wilson Ring] : [3301/04/12]

[Report Summary] Back in Dulos under an Antfarm Consolidated light haulage and inter-system recovery contract.

[Manifest] Mostly running small cargo loads around the Dulos 30ly volume.

[Incidents] Nothing to report in Dulos

[Signed] Cmdr William Gearwright of the ISDV Canonical Whimsy (Core Dynamics Eagle Mk2), Antfarm Consolidated of Dulos.


[Private Entry/Decrypted/DDr67yty-RltY3649] [embeds enabled] I dreamt of Lugh again last night. The cockpit was full of molten plastic and rolling fire and the Echo was tumbling wildly, crashing through a field of frozen people spilling out of an exploding transport. I don’t think I need a frelling shrink to tell me the hidden meaning there. Frelling Feds. I ploughed their blood money into an Asp I christened the Pharos Brightly and left the Echo mothballed in Jameson Memorial to tak the Phaors out into the black. She is beautiful, beautiful and fierce but stained so I spent a month running humanitarian aid until I hooked up with a group of traders and helped them run supplies to a series of remote colonies. Eventually our joint routes took me back within kissing range to the edge of the Dulos volume so I left the group and headed back home.

By the time I saw the sunrise over Six I figured I’d been away from my home for months and a lot has changed. The Defence Party are still in charge and running their newly independent system with an an iron fist but the old Green Party are making a small comeback. Most surprising is that the Oluf Worker’s Party has now become the third power in the system and they hold one of the renamed stations, “Saunder’s City”. Actually, the Oluf Reds aren’t the most surprising thing, that honour is taken by the he fact every frakking station has been renamed! Brunton Gateway is now Wilson Ring, named after the DDP leader, Jing Wilson. Richard Brunton was the first frelling human to ever walk on the surface of Six and the DDP just wipe his name off the map for a cheap piece of self-aggrandising political theatre. Frak me!

Still, at least I’m no longer likely to be rounded up by the DDP police and accidentally fall out of an airlock. The Old Man was glad to see me and has been in touch with my family out of system to arrange their passage home, In the meantime he’s put me on some deep system salvage jobs but the fact he’s asked me to spec up “something fast as frak that can go black in an instant” makes me think the “salvage” will be white hot. I don’t mind though, the Old Man doesn’t deal in slaves and as long as I don’t have to kill anyone I’m happy to be sneaking things under the radar for a while.

Right now I need some sleep. I’ve popped the meds so at least if I do dream tonight I’ll not remember them and then tomorrow I can concentrate on my manifest. To be honest, it’s going to be nice to be a can jockey again.

[Upgrades] The Echo I left in Jameson, she’ll be safe there and at some point I’ll hitch a ride out and bring her home. The last thing I did was strip out all the crap I’d put in there for war and she’s a trading vessel once more. I considered ditching her weapons but given I wasn’t that far away from Lave, Leesti, and the Code I decided against it. The Pharos is in Wilson Ring, ready for the Old Man to put me back on large jobs. The Grass was gone, lost in the chaos of the fall of the Greens so I had to start again with the Whimsy but I didn’t mind as it gave me a chance to build an Eagle for something other than killing. I visited the Turir shipyards and spent the last of the Federation combat bonds on upgrading her engines and plant. I reduced the shielding and instead added a cell bank, the idea is that I’ll not be staying around for a fight, I just need to be fast enough, and my shields alive long enough, for me to get the hell out. She has 8 tons of cargo space so I can pick up enough of whatever I am asked to and a 4t fuel tank so I can shift it across a decent volume. I decided against a scoop as there are enough outposts I can refuel at but I did add a heat sink for when I have to hide. If I can’t hide and I have to run then I’ve also fitted a mine layer to seriously frak up anyone on my tail. Again, I’m not looking to kill but I need to get in and out damn fast and after Lugh and,well, that suits me just fine.