Part 6: Ryde or Die
Warp complete, captain. We're arriving at Tydaria. What kind of help do you think we'll be able to get here?
Resources and supplies, at least. There's a big space mining operation going on around the rings of the planet.
You might want to hold that thought. I'm detecting unknown vessels on an intercept course for us.
I'm not finding any of them on any of the flag registries Damn. Pirates!
All hands, battle stations! Battle stations! Set condition one throughout the ship. This is not a drill. Captain, we are being hailed.
Haahaaahaaa! This is the pirate ryder Havoc! Lower your shields and surrender your cargo!
Yep, this is happening. Also, it isnt actually spelled out until much later, but the Sunrider apparently has some kind of holographic communications system, similar to season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery.
Stand down. This is an armed warship of the Cera Space Force. We will not hesitate to open fire if you approach.
Cera Space Force, huh? Your ship will make a lovely addition to my pirate fleet. After we've dealt with you, of course! Boys, rough them up!
Two pirate ryders, inbound fast. Both infantry class. There's one more bomber-class ryder leading them, designation Havoc. Also, two pirate destroyers shortly behind them.
Concentrate on the lead bomber. These pirates think about nothing but themselves; once Cosette realizes we mean business, she'll probably back off.
Understood, captain. Let's hope this goes as planned.
All right, time for our second battle, and our first time coming face-to-face with enemy
The Grunts, as the name suggests, are pretty disposable: they have no shields or armor. The Havoc, our target, is a bit more formidable, with both high armor and high HP.
Rounding out the pirate forces is a pair of destroyers. Similarly lacking shields and missile defenses and lightly armored, they are at best an annoyance.
Our opening laser barrage one-shots a grunt.
Ava called the Havoc a bomber-class ryder, and she wasnt wrong. Bombers carry torpedoes, which carry much larger warheads than rockets. Fortunately, they are only fired one at a time (despite what the launch animation might lead you to believe) and the Sunriders flak shoots it down.
Unfortunately, the Sunrider did end up leaving spacedock without a shield generator. Our high armor and HP will keep us in the fight for a while, but I wouldnt want to have to get stuck in a protracted battle until we acquire one. Which, fortunately, this wont be, because
We're venting air in four sections. Our systems are stretched to capacity!
How did so many missiles get through!? Are the gunners blind, Ava?
We're still recovering from Cera, captain. The Sunrider's giving it her all.
Now's our chance! Take their engines out, but leave the ship intact! We'll board and cut down the crew hand to hand.
You're awfully persistent for a little girl, aren't you?
Did... you... just... call... me...
Y-YOOUUUU!!! KILL THEM ALL! BUT LEAVE THE CAPTAIN FOR ME! HE'S... MINE!
Captain Please do not provoke the enemy.
Damn... Just one problem after another
The cavalry has arrived!
What the... Who are you?
A HERO OF JUSTICE! Looks like you could use a hand there! Don't worry, my Black Jack will take care of these guys in a flash!
She's flying a freelance ryder licensed by the United Mining Guild, captain. Probably hired security for the mining operation on Tydaria. Do you think we can trust her?
Doesn't look like we have much of a choice. Alright, Black Jack. Let's see what you've got.
And just like that weve got control of our first ryder unit. Ill get into details about what the Black Jack is capable of later in its own dedicated post, so nobody jump the gun.
The Sunrider hits the remaining Grunt with a laser barrage which almost but not completely kills it. This is very annoying because damage does not reduce weapon effectiveness. A unit with 1 HP will do just as much damage as an enemy at full health.
Without enough energy for a second laser barrage, we resort to small-caliber kinetics. Normally this would be pointless because of the ryders armor, but with the armor worn down by the laser barrage its more than enough to finish them off.
Her torpedoes may be expended but the Havoc still has several rocket barrages remaining, and enough energy to fire off two per turn. Our flak takes a handful down but enough get through that I should start thinking about finishing this fairly quickly.
The Black Jack also has lasers and follows them up with a rocket barrage, taking down one of the destroyers.
I fire off a rocket barrage, but the Havocs flak range is enough to cover the destroyer. That one intercept is enough to barely keep the destroyer alive. Annoying. Red hexes indicate the flak coverage and yes, in the future we will run into dedicated anti-missile units.
While the Sunrider wastes time on that remaining destroyer, the Havoc has moved up close to the Black Jack, which presents a perfect opportunity to show off this button that you may have spotted in a previous screenshot:
Moving up next to the Havoc does trigger a counter attack, however.
However, with the Black Jacks high armor rating it is not particularly effective.
Energy sword time!
Since they were already so close the Black Jack has enough energy for two melee attacks, which is more than enough to take Cosette down..
These guys aren't worth it! Fall back!
Enemy units are withdrawing.
Whoo! That sure was exciting!
Well open up our hanger bay. You have permission to dock, Black Jack.
And to explain yourself.
Roger that! Coming aboard!