The Burroughs is a Zoltan vessel, equipped with the latest in Zoltan Shield (ZS) technology. She is manned by a peculiar collection of aliens who wouldn’t be out of place in the backalleys of Interzone. This is her story.
Our hyperspace exit point leaves us floating within a nebula. I check the charts for the best route to complete our new side-mission and get to the exit before the Rebels arrive…
An Autoscout sans shield – easy pickings. I order the men to take out the weapons with our Ion Cannon and then pick away at the hull with Leto.
The debris from the scout floats into the depths of space while we investigate the station it had been guarding. Fuel, missiles and scrap – a tidy little score.
Another jump into nebula space, another Autoscout. This one is on a reconnaissance mission, waiting to report our position to the Rebel Fleet. It has no shields but some serious firepower and a cloaking system. We need to knock out its FTL system before it can head back to the fleet, so I can only hope the ZS can keep its laser, missile and ion weapons at bay for long enough.
The engine upgrade pays for itself when we dodge most of its attacks. We score a decent hit on its engine systems, but not enough to knock it out altogether.
Another missile hit takes the engines out and an Ion bomb knocks out its weapon systems. Now we just have to strike the killing blow.
The beam cuts through what’s left of its tattered hull, but not before it scores a piercing hit on our hull in an empty room. Shield Operator Arries takes on repair duties while we salvage the remains of the enemy craft.
Nebula hopping again. We come across some traders selling missiles in exchange for fuel, but we need the fuel more.
An automated assault ship waiting for us inside a plasma storm. The storm knocks out our engines, but we get them back online by switching the Halberd out.
An easy fight, though it does score a strong hit on our hull.
A black market weapons trader hails the ship. The pirate markings make me suspicious and I order CY Heng to fire. We knock out one of its weapons and after a second beam attack they offer a paltry sum to sue for peace.
The bodies of the pirate crew gracefully somersault towards the stars.
A Federation Scout is being chased by Rebels. The men want to use the distraction to escape, but I will have none of that.
It’s a Rebel Rigger with a Beam Attack Drone, Heavy Laser and Missile Launcher – a formidable foe. I switch the Halberd out so we can hit them faster, before they do too much damage. The drone cuts through the ZS too quickly for my liking and our first missile shoots past them whilst theirs finds our Sensor subsystems.
We knock out the drone and neutralise the shields for a short period of time – long enough to cripple their weapons with the Halberd.
They fall to the beam and we contact our brothers. They give us a parting gift in thanks.
Finally we arrive at the marker given to us in the last sector – a moon base that needs protecting from Rebels in the area. Sounds like a worthy cause, and one that should improve the Federation’s reputation in this sector.
The enemy ship is a Rebel Fighter, whose layout is perfect for a Halberd assault – Weapons, Engines and Shields side-by-side, ripe for the picking.
Once we’ve decimated the ship we dock with the base where they patch up some of our hull damage pro bono and show us their wares. I pick up a Teleportation System, some fuel, a weapon reloader and finish repairing the hull. I also decide to part with the Ion Bomb. Relying on two missile weapons uses ammunition too quickly, and out of the two I prefer Leto – at least he has a name.
We respond to a distress call and find a small research facility engulfed in flames. I can’t risk losing any crew members by sending them in to fight the blaze, so I choose to dock and try and evacuate the scientists.
We’re too late and a fireball engulfs the staff before we finish docking. Debris damages the hull, but it’s the loss of life that weighs more heavily on my mind.
Once in a lifetime deal, apparently, and I’m inclined to agree – 10 Fuel Cells for 2 Drone Parts. I make the trade, and we continue on our way.
Another trader. This one wants Missiles, which we lack.
I didn’t plan our journey too well, so we end up backtracking. I take this opportunity to repair the damage we just received, and buy a couple of missiles for good measure.
We find a Rebel Ship transporting goods. They aren’t heavily armed, so we demand they hand over the goods. They refuse, and prepare to flee whilst charging their 2 laser cannons. Weapons Officer Heng takes aim with the Halberd, targeting three of their systems.
Our third blast destroys the ship. We get only a little scrap, but they were carrying some intelligence on the sector… The sector we’re just about to leave. Typical.
We find a derelict pirate vessel and strip it.
We prepare to leave the sector. The ship still isn’t in fighting form, but it fared much better in this sector than in the last. Navigations Officer Bovee would prefer we head into the Engi controlled sector, and I’m inclined to agree with him. Onwards we go.
The Engi are strange synthetic creatures, whose motives are near impossible to understand. They aren’t violent though, which is enough for me.
We come out of hyperspace and find ourselves caught between a Pirate ship and its quarry. They see the weapons bristling on our hull and try to bribe us to stay out of it…
They’re flying with an active Defense Drone, so missiles are out of the question, but the layout of the Rigger means I can target the shields, drone and weapon systems with the Halberd.
After three blasts the pirate vessel is reduced to slag, and we make contact with the other ship. It’s an arms dealer who normally only works with Rebels, but is happy to trade with us after our intervention. Funnily enough he carries no weapons, but we hire another Zoltan crew member from his roster. Welcome aboard Tee Lek. Be a good living conduit and man the Engine room, eh?
As if to prove my earlier philosophising concerning the Engi, an Engi vessel attempts to surrender to us after merely glancing at our weapons. I explain we’re friendly and a little about our mission and they happily donate some goods to the cause.
We jump to the location of a Distress Signal. It’s a space station overrun by Giant Spiders. I have very important paperwork to attend to in my space office, so I send my loyal Zoltan crew to help deal with the situation. They each come back alive, carrying some goods given in thanks by the station owners.
A store carrying nothing useful that we can afford.
Another distress signal – the Engi are always in need of assistance. The inhabitants of a space station need help repairing or disabling an overzealous satellite defense system. We don’t have the means of repairing it, so I order Weapons Officer CY Heng to shoot it out of the skies. He fails miserably and the satellite manages to pierce our ZS before we have to pull away.
They’ll need to find someone with bigger guns.
A well-armed Engi ship approaches, and my instincts tell me something is afoot. Before I have a chance to open my mouth and warn the crew the intruder alarm starts blaring.
The men gather their laser pistols, but the invader is a single, wounded-looking Mantis. He begs for help, whilst the Engi on the ship bay for blood. Something isn’t right here, and I will not hand him over to the homicidal aliens.
Mantis Maxwell joins the team, heals up in the Medbay, and I send him to the teleporter room.
I aim the Halberd at their Drone, Medbay and Shield systems whilst preparing to teleport Maxwell to the other side of the ship where the Weapons Systems sit. Maxwell tears into his former tormentors with his sharp mandibles, but they flee and heal before he can finish any of them off. I teleport him back, and watch as our weapons fail to get past the level 2 shields and Defense Drone. We warm up the FTL engines and make a getaway.
The scraps from a recent battle float gently in the vacuum of space. We grab what we can and the men perform some repairs to the ship. I decide to take this opportunity to upgrade our Shield system too.
Another distress signal. The Engi are once again in the role of victim, and we move in to help them against a Rebel ship.
Our newly upgraded shields and some excellent piloting from Bovee see us through the fight safely. We pick their bones dry, even gathering a Hull Smasher Laser from the husk of the derelict vessel.
The Rebel Fleet is right on our tail now. We stop just outside their reach where an Engi is in trouble. What type of trouble is not readily apparent at first, but I order Bovee to pull us in anyway.
Turns out to be a Mantis ship attacking the outclassed Engi vessel. I tell Maxwell to get ready ‘cause we’re almost certainly about to get some boarders.
I switch over to Leto and our new laser, and after a few tense minutes of waiting they send boarders. I open the airlocks and hope I can choke them first, but if not I’ll have Maxwell meet them in the Medbay.
The ship breaks beneath the onslaught and the Engi send a member of their crew over to help us with repairs. He seems to be staying for the long haul, so I have him and Bovee help Maxwell out with the intruders.
It’s further to the next jump point, so we have a little breathing room now. There’s nothing of interest here, so we carry on. We could go to a store to repair our hull, but doing so would put the Jump Beacon well within Rebel space. Instead we jump to the beacon so we can escape their clutches.
More Engi being threatened by Mantis. These Mantis are smart enough to leave when they see us approach however, so we get paid without even needing to charge our weapons.
We have only one option with our next jump – the Slug Home Nebula. I have no love for the Slug, and with our hull at around 50% it will be a dangerous trip.
Stay tuned for more exciting and tactical adventures of The Burroughs and her fearless lightbulb crew.