Part 34: Auroran - Part 03 - January 18th, 1178 NC: Prison BreakAuroran Preamble uploaded!
January 18th, 1178 NC: Prison Break
Let's up-gun and gun up some pirates! After some off-screen money making, we're back with a Wild Geese Lightning outfitted with several hundred missiles, souped up engines, and a railgun - deadly at all ranges.
Hopefully people will be a bit less insensitive now that we've got several tons of high explosive backing us up.
It seems to work pretty well. Now to head off the space-pirates at the space-pass!
It's surrounded by escorts as always. We tear through the first stage of enemies...
Then the second stage, all the while spitting out a veritable wall of missiles...
The Desperation is ultimately just a stock Manticore, and they aren't too well-armoured. 75 missiles or so disables it, while our superior speed lets us stay out of beam range and dodge their slow-track railgun fire.
And we strike. A quick circle around draws the pirate Carrier away from our target, and I swoop in and rescue what remains of the prisoners after the missile barrage.
Of course, I can't resist taking a parting shot. We scoot right after, burning straight for New Ireland with a Pirate reinforcement fleet hot on our tail.
It's at this time that the Federation acquires a massive dislike for us. I have no idea why.
We reach New Ireland once more, but something seems off...
You cannot believe your eyes. When you land on New Ireland, you can barely believe what has happened to it. Only a few weeks ago this world was a green, lush planet full of the beauties of both man and nature, now it is little more than a smoldering ruin of a world.
Eiric, who during the course of your journey has gained your respect for what he has been trying to do to break McGowan's stranglehold on what was originally intended to be an organization to protect everyday traders from the depredations of Bureaucratic idiocy, steps forward and quietly puts his hand on your shoulder in support.
"Perhaps we had better be searching for your colleagues elsewhere," suggests Eiric in gruff yet tactful voice. You nod, remembering what Eamon said about looking up his friend Professor F Cook before turning back to your ship and telling everyone to get back inside with more than a few unshed tears glimmering in your eyes.
New Ireland posted:
What only a few years ago was a world populated by an artistic, cultured, and hospitable people is now a barely habitable barren rock. A casualty of the constant sniping between the Wild Geese and the Associated Guild of Free Traders, even now the former residents are busy trying to 'terraform' this world back to some of its former glory...
We take some frustration out on a raiding Cruiser. The Feds attack us for our troubles.
Misfire is reached without further incident.
The University of Misfire is infamous for taking an opposing position to most Federation doctrine (most of which is produced by Kane University on Earth). It houses many academics who don't fit the mold of traditional scientists because they believe in actually doing some research. This does not endear them to the Federation council, or to the Krim-Hwa, who have made many unsuccessful attempts to have the University closed. Popular public sentiment (plus some extremely cutting and pointed arguments from Professor F. Cook of the Liberal Philosophy department) have prevented the government from being able to remove this annoyance.
Misfire's Bar posted:
You walk in to this bar to see an extremely fit-looking, middle-aged man making a series of caustic comments to a television crew regarding the policies of the Federation regarding the University of Misfire.
When you land you are met by Flannigan, Tara Collins and the brothers Sean and Ryan O'Driscol. After wordlessly gripping each other's arms in greeting, Tara, Sean and Ryan start helping the former prisoners off your ship. You cannot help but wonder what happened to Flynn, and you raise your eyebrows in anxious curiosity. Flannigan shakes his head.
"He personally kept the Bureau's thugs bottled up in one corner of the space port for the better part of ten minutes," Flannigan says proudly, with tears in his eyes, "so that we could get everybody away. He died well and hard."
You close your eyes in remembrance of a man with the quick wit and even quicker smile who greeted you as a sister. After a moment of gut-wrenching reverie, you open your eyes, ready to do whatever has to be done to avenge all that has been done to the Wild Geese and the people they protect.
Flannigan draws you away from the crowds in the spaceport
"We are in something of a fix," he begins quietly, and you chuckle at his understatement. "The Bureau hit us hard while we were concentrating on McGowan and his damn 'guild of free traders'. We barely escaped alive, all of us, and the fault is partly mine. I knew that McGowan had an agreement with the Bureau, but I didn't know they were quite this cozy. I don't have a lot of time to explain all the ins and outs of the situation, but the end result is that I'm going to declare war on both McGowan's so-called 'guild' and on that damned Bureau. Unfortunately for us we have absolutely no way of winning on our own.
"That's why I'm glad you found us as quickly as you did," he explains, nodding in appreciation, "I need someone to open talks with those who we will need as allies. We basically have the Rebels that occupy some of the space to the galactic north of the Federation and the Aurorans to the south."
He looks directly at you.
"You," he says, tapping you on the chest for emphasis, "have more experience with dealing with people outside the Wild Geese than anyone here bar myself. And seeing as I have a few other things I need to be taking care of, you'll be our representative.
"I have a contact inside the Rebellion," he informs you all quietly, "and, as you probably already know I have many contacts among the Aurorans. I'll leave it up to you.
"Do you want to go meet the Rebels, or the Aurorans?"
And here we go! Off to the Aurorans! This is one of several ways to start the Auroran storyline - it's certainly the flashiest.
By 'a few weeks' he really means 'tomorrow.'
"No worries," Flannigan nods quietly, "I was kind of hoping you would volunteer to head down to the Aurorans, as I want you to meet some of my battle brothers. Meet me in the bar here in a few weeks after I have had a chance to send word to them, and we'll talk about what I want you to do..."
As soon as you step into this establishment your eye is distracted by a waving hand in the back corner. Looking over you see the handsome Ryan O'Driscol trying to get your attention. With a smile you head over to say hello. After a quick hug, Ryan indicates that you should sit down.
" The Bureau managed to catch up with us a few days ago," Ryan explains in his thick brogue, "and Eamon had to stay with the evacuees. I was left behind to pass on the message that you are to go and see an Auroran warrior named Techerakh on the Heraan planet in the Heraan system which is located somewhere to the galactic west of the Auroran capital. Apparently he will be expecting you, and you are to pass on our current situation."
You nod slowly as you digest this.
" Before you go though," says Ryan with an unusual hint of humility, "would you mind having a few quiet drinks with me? We could talk of old times, and remember old friends..."
You find yourself smiling without really knowing why, and agreeing to his request. And before you know it, you are having a great time as the two of you talk about everything under the sun. As time goes by, you find yourself warming to Ryan as he regales you with the tales of his life. You catch a glimpse behind the facade of a likeable rogue into a deep, serious and incredibly passionate man, and you find yourself liking what you see. Before the night is over he has managed to persuade you to do this again sometime, and you are slightly surprised to discover that you really would like to see him again. Finally he gives you a hug and rakishly kisses your hand before heading off, trying to casually whistle a tune whilst trying not to fall over from all the alcohol he consumed.
If you're male, this whole sequence occurs with Tara Collins instead. Just replace gender norms as appropriate. Off we go! This is an exploration mission, so we don't really know where to go. I go off and wander in Auroran space for the next few months.
There's some adventure along the way... helped by the fact that every last Auroran is trying to kill us.
Quite a bit of exploration...
This world, while technically part of the Auroran Empire, is left empty out of respect for the now long gone Vell-os. When the leaders of the Vell-os people surrendered to the forces of the Colonial Council nearly seven centuries ago, their worlds were razed into lifelessness, and those who would not become slaves were killed. The Aurorans have recognized that the actions of the Vell-os have been affirmed even by Federation historians, and yet they are still kept as slaves by the Federation military. The Auroran diplomats remind their Federation counterparts of this on the infrequent occasions when they meet, and hint that any settlement between the Empire and the Federation will have to include the release of all Vell-os slaves.
And, several months later, the end of our quest.
Heraan is the most heavily populated world in Known Space, with some 220 billion inhabitants. This includes the largest concentration of warriors in Heraan space, because it is just one jump away from the border of Heraan space in four different directions. The warriors posted here are ready to hyper out at a moment's notice to help with any border conflicts as necessary, but they are also ready to defend their homeworld if the borders of Heraan space crumble. The leaders of the Heraan House, despite its recent elevation, still make their homes here, because they believe that they have a responsibility to their people to do so.
Heraan's Bar posted:
Surprisingly in this bar, the Heraan House warriors, as they drink their non-alcoholic drinks, seem to give way to members of the working and merchant classes as a matter of course.
Next time: Getting some ink done!