We have made it through the Engi Homeworlds and find ourselves in Slug space. We have come a long way, but are still far from sanctuary. We shall get this data to the Federation Fleet, or my men will die trying.
The nebula-heavy Slug Homeworlds… Treacherous space at the best of times.
This jump doesn’t quite take us into the nebula the Slugs tend to inhabit. Our sensors stay silent, so we charge the FTL and continue to a nearby store.
We repair the hull and get some fuel and missiles. The fuel may not be necessary, but I don’t like to gamble with something so basic.
A damaged Federation ship is floating in the nebula. We almost lose them, but with our teleporter we’re able to lock-on to their life signs. One of the crew – another Engi – comes aboard, the rest wait for rescue.
We see nothing through the Nebula gas. We jump…
…right into a Plasma storm. A Rebel AutoScout moves in to engage. It hits us a couple of times before we manage to subdue it.
Our new Engi crewmembers get to work on repairs whilst we prepare to jump.
We find a Pirate ship laying low within the Nebula. We slowly glide past, choosing not to engage.
We meet a small but fierce Mantis craft, with level 3 shields, 2 weapons, and the ever-present teleporter. I open the airlocks in preparation for boarding.
My tactic works and the boarder dies before doing any damage. After pounding their hull I send Maxwell into the breach. He finds a solitary Engi making desperate repairs and puts him out of his misery.
Another Rebel ship trying to remain incognito. I decide to try out our new weapons systems on a live target, but they slip out of reach and our sensors lose them.
We face our first Slug ship within the Slug home nebula… They really are adept at remaining hidden.
I aim our Burst Laser and Hull Laser at the shield systems, and send Maxwell to the teleporter room. I’m holding off because I don’t know if the Slug are any good in a fight, but I want him ready.
Their weapons are ineffectual against our shields, and after a time they sue for peace. I accept, and in exchange for their lives they offer up a prototype weapon – a Bio-Beam specifically designed to target crew rather than ship – or some intelligence.
The weapon is against galactic regulations, and information is more important right now. They give us the coordinates for where a new Slug Cruiser is being constructed. It could be a huge asset to the Federation Fleet, so I only hope we have a chance to investigate.
Just a mining area that has been stripped completely bare. We move on.
Ships passing through the night… Some slug vessels appear briefly on our sensors and then disappear. We brace for a flanking attack, but nothing happens. Once the FTL drive has charged, we jump.
A Slug Interceptor has somehow disabled our door system by remote control, and are preparing to barrage the ship with flame weapons to cook us alive. Do Slug eat barbecue Zoltan, Engi and Mantis? I don’t want to find out.
I get Maxwell ready to teleport, whilst targeting their weapon systems. My plan is to send him just after the first volley so his target is softened somewhat.
The Slug are more dangerous than I realise, and the two creatures on board tear Maxwell apart. If only I had a Rockman, or even a Human to send with him as backup.
I nod to CY Heng, and he nods in return. The words hang unspoken in the air between us, “Destroy them, utterly.”
We arrive at a store. There is a Slug for hire and whilst my first reaction is to strangle him, I decide that if 2 of them could kill Maxwell so easily, then perhaps this GMFaux could be an asset to the team. I put my prejudice aside and hire the thing.
We have them repair our hull as well, then we jump.
I miscalculated before our shopping trip, and now we’re faced with a heavily armed Rebel Fighter at the Jump Beacon. They’re fitted with a teleporter, so I drain a few rooms of oxygen in preparation.
My brilliant plan fails when they teleport their crew onto the room adjacent to our shield systems. No way to flush the oxygen without also exposing our shields to their attack. Still, it might be the easiest way to kill them with my current crew.
Between their shields and their skilled pilot we’re unable to score any decent hits, so when the FTL engine chimes I order Bovee to punch it.
He aims the Burroughs towards the Engi Homeworlds.
I decide to jump to a different beacon before heading to the Slug-given marker. I don’t trust them, and with a little scrap we might be able to perform some upgrades before jumping into a potential trap.
Unfortunately, we find only a merchant in need of some help. A ship of his has disappeared in Pirate space and he wants us to investigate. Another marker for us to aim towards.
We arrive in a small section of nebula. It seems the Slug were true to their word and at their coordinates sits some sort of construction platform building a Slug Cruiser. It looks dangerous, but nonoperational. A couple of ships patrol around it.
We try and slip into the nebula clouds so we can get closer without being seen, but the clouds are too thick. GMFaux, our Slug crewmember, comes into his own and uses his species’ telepathic talents to get a lock on the vessel.
We close in, unnoticed, and the larger of the two ships guarding the Cruiser leaves.
GMFaux leads us in to take a closer look. There’s only an Interceptor left, so we move in to engage. Power readings suggest that the Interceptor is linked to the Cruiser, and if it leaves so will the experimental ship. I order CY Heng to target the engines.
It’s a nerve-wracking few minutes as our weapons struggle to break through the shielding.
Eventually they do though, and we’re able to whittle away at the hull. We have to focus fire on the Engines instead of Weapons so we take more hits than I would like, but I can’t seem to worry too much about that when I see the ship that waits before us.
I teleport GMFaux over, and he rigs the ship to fly itself back to the Federation Fleet so we can get on with our mission. We also gain a Repair Arm Augmentation and some scrap – quite a haul, really.
We jump near an Asteroid field and move in to investigate. Bovee’s expert piloting keeps us safe, and we find 6 fuel cells floating amongst the rocks, probably scattered to the solar winds when a ship met its fate in the field.
We spot a Rebel ship, but it doesn’t see us. We choose not to engage.
A store. We repair some damage to the hull and continue on.
We answer a distress call and find a Rebel ship waiting for us. The main Rebel Fleet is gaining on us too, so this must be a forward scout. They have 2 levels of shield, a Defense Drone, a Missile launcher and a Heavy Laser.
This will not be an easy fight, especially when Leto is out of ammo.
My stomach drops when I see the Defense Drone shooting my lasers out of the sky. I thought they could only attack missiles? Obviously this is some new technology the Rebels have created, and not a demonstration of my ineptitude as a Captain.
It’s impossible to get a hit on the enemy, so as soon as the FTL button lights up we punch it.
We arrive at another store, and I take this opportunity to re-work my weapons line-up. I replace the Hull Laser with a Heavy Laser, as it takes 5 seconds less to power up and its lower power-requirements means I could couple it with Halberd.
We jump to our second quest marker – the Merchant ship that went missing. We arrive just in time to find them being chased by a Pirate. We move in to intercept.
It’s a Rebel Rigger with 3 levels of shielding, an Attack Drone, a Defensive Drone, and some rather menacing looking weapons on the hull.
We hold out for longer than we probably should have, getting nowhere. We jump.
An Engi ship needs assistance, but when we move in closer it appears to be some Mantis Pirates at the helm. We prepare to battle.
They can’t get through our shields, and we can’t get enough shots past their Drones. We circle each other in an elliptical orbit, firing lasers, but eventually I tire and we jump away.
Another Distress signal, but this time it isn’t a trap. It’s a Federation Scout that ran out of fuel. With the Rebel Fleet fast approaching I can’t leave them here, so I give them 2 fuel cells and in return they give us quite a reasonable sum of scrap.
We arrive in Zoltan space. It’s quiet, and there is a store nearby, but we won’t go there just yet…
We find an unmanned Rebel Autoscout. It has upgraded shield systems, but otherwise shouldn’t be too much trouble.
…Except that it has a Cloaking System as well.
It comes out of cloak with a powerful opening volley of lasers and ion blasts. The rate at which its weapons cycle means it’s already hitting us with a second assault before our weapons have even warmed up.
It gets a couple of good shots in, but it’s not enough to stop us from decimating the small roboship. We collect some scrap and move on.
Zoltan Customs board the ship due to some issue with out paperwork. Four agents make it on to our vessel, and their ship is a heavily armed Energy Fighter – the same as ours.
I purge oxygen from the centre of the ship and the Shield room, hoping I can suffocate them before they damage the Shield systems. They must have slow-firing weapons, as we’re able to take down most of their Zoltan Shield before they’ve even launched their first volley. The boarders make it into the Shield room and start gasping for air.
They make it into the weapons room where 4 of my crewmembers are waiting. They’ve already suffered from a lack of oxygen, so it’s a short fight.
Their pilot must be a talented one, because he dodges half our assaults. I bring Halberd in to play, and hope that we can keep their shields down long enough for it to charge up.
The gamble pays off, but our hull is in extremely poor shape.
We go to the nearby store and repair our hull damage. I sell Leto and buy a second Burst Laser 1, and stock up on fuel.
We come across a large Rebel Ship. It powers its weapons systems and moves in towards us. It has 3 lasers, 1 beam and 3 levels of shielding. This will likely be one of our toughest battles yet.
With our opening volley we manage to get one hit on the shield systems. If we can keep their weapons at bay until we’re able to knock the shields out altogether we’ll be in the clear.
They fire a barrage of laser, but Bovee dodges the worst of it. We aren’t so lucky with their second volley though, taking hits to the engines and shields. We swap attacks back and forth, them doing more damage than we manage. Our hull is down to half and we haven’t even scratched their paintwork.
Somehow the tides turn and we force them to surrender. I look at the situation – another volley from both burst lasers will finish them off – and decide to not accept. They’ve done so much damage that we need more scrap than they’re offering.
A Zoltan science facility. They want us to volunteer, and we have some time before the Rebels gain a foothold on this sector, so I decide we should participate.
It’s a trap! Pirates are holding laser pistols to the Zoltan scientist’s heads. They send boarders and we grit our teeth and get to work.
Their boarding party is 3 Rockmen and a Slug – far outclassing my own squad. They make quick work of the doors and head into our Shield room. We manage to repel the boarders, but the Federation bomber outside the ship tears us to pieces.
I make it to the escape pod and watch out the porthole as my ship explodes into fragments. The fate of my men is unknown…