Starlance Renegade – Ep3

Episode 3: Return to Epsilon

I arrived a good distance away from the main weapons staging area, Sector Epsilon. My previous time here was nearly a complete disaster. A few months ago I learned that the malfunction of the jump drive on that ship I used was a malicious piece of code placed to execute the moment of the jump. I studied that day closely to prepare for this new mission. The target was a hidden cache in the center of the minefield. Maneuvering through the field might be difficult, but if I could find one thing that could provide an advantage against Starlance it would be worth the risk. As quickly as I could I set up a scan of the area. I discovered something new. A research station was established not long ago. Some of the smaller patrol craft were doing the rounds close to a large asteroid. On the other side of it was the station. It was a good idea to use the asteroid as cover. They were close enough to monitor most of the sector. Whether they detected my arrival or not was a mystery, but so far none of their ships moved in the direction of the field. They most likely think that no one would be insane, or foolish enough to go near the minefield. At this point I think I am a bit insane.

A few short minutes was all I needed to hack into the systems. The minefield and anything tied to that old code system used to deactivate them were now inactive. Surely this would call the attention of the research station. So, to ensure my success, the system was rigged to reactivate and go rogue. This meant that no codes or anything would work to deactivate again, at least, for long enough to do some damage. With the systems down it was time to hit the cache. The Star Shadow’s engines quickly warmed and I blasted off. This cache was a large storage container, almost big enough to be its own starship.

Movement was detected in the outer perimeter of the minefield. I was already inside the cache searching the database for records of anything that could be useful. Although most of the equipment was too heavy to take with me there were a lot of schematics. One of them stood out. An energy redirection and dispersion shield. The perfect defense against the Starlance Supremacy Cruisers. It was developed as a countermeasure against the ships in case they were captured by enemy forces, but the research was halted shortly after the initial tests. I transferred as much of the data as I could to my ship and got out of there.

A few small fighters entered the minefield. They moved towards the cache just as I launched away. Considering how valuable that thing was I decided to let loose. I fired a fully charged blasma volley towards the main power core and destroyed the container. The enemy fighters gave chase, but I was not about to leave without a parting gift to the space station. Once I was out of the minefield I reactivated everything in the staging area. This not only included the entire minefield, it also included several experimental weapons and automated systems. Suffice to say the fighters were toast. Some of the automated ships inside began firing weapons all over the place. Their targets included some of the mines as well as the asteroid. They must have detected the station.

With the station on view I decided another gift was in order. Their defense turrets fired on me, but the disruption systems kept them busy with sensor echoes. Once I had the gift ready I sent it away. A program made to cut up chunks of data and delete them. There was also a bit that activated the station’s engines and moved it to just the right position where it could get attacked by some of the experimental weapons. As I was leaving I saw some escape shuttles leaving the station. Meanwhile pieces of it began to break as the weapons made short work of it. “All in a day’s work”, I thought to myself as I made the jump back home.

Two days after my little stint at Epsilon we’re discussing what to do with the data I acquired.

“Obviously we don’t have the manpower to finish the research on that”, Ivanov said while glancing over some of the data. “None of our technicians are prepared to work on any of this. Did you really find no weapons you could bring?”.

“Nope. Nothing. I don’t think they would be so careless to leave anything too easy to acquire, or else anyone would have been able to do it”

“What about this?”, he pointed to a supposed shield piercing weapon.

“That is an early prototype of what the Supremacy class cruisers use. It no longer holds any relevance. Its old research, though we might be able to glance some of the initial base systems used to build and scale the weapon to the massive ones currently in use”

“Hmm, then I will forward this information to the techs. Maybe they will get inspired”

“We need more than this Adrian”, Mara was concerned that I risked my life for nothing.

“Look at this part here”, I pointed to the dispersion shielding. “This could potentially redirect and disperse the energy from the Supremacy class’ main weapon. According to this research it is possible. Sadly, like you said, it still requires much more research to create something reliable”

“Not to mention that the only way to test something like that is to have one of the Starlance Supremacy Cruisers fire at us”, Mara was beginning to sound frustrated, but before she could continue an alert sounded about an incoming distress call.

“Help, please. If anyone can hear us, we are scientists and researchers from the Starlance research station Proxima Tau. We have sabotaged the station after an event with the nearby staging area in Sector Epsilon. Our transports are under siege, we need assistance!”, the message then repeated.

“I’m going to head out. If anyone can help us develop anything from here, it is them”, I said as I started to make my way out of the bridge.

“Wait! I’ll go with you. You can go alone in this one”, said Mara.

“Go on then! I will monitor Starlance communications and bail you out if things get dicey”, Ivanov said just as we were out the door.

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