Wednesday, October 27, 3300


On my way to Meredito, the closest planet, a transport hailed us for support against a pirate. With revenge on my mind, I punched out an affirmation and set sights on the robber. He turned to flee, but passing close to the other planets, more and more traders joined in the hunt to clear the skies for safer trading. 6 in all were baying for blood, and with the rethone cannon slowing him down, the mob descended to tear him apart.

Back at Meredito I dropped off some cheap luxuries and equipment picked up from the Scientific station as well as a couple of fuel containers that were the last remaining vestige of piratic activity. Rumours in the mess hall indicated an armada is forming to take back Antares, but I've had my share of Dominators for now. The Gaalians have some rare Peleng critters that they want to donate back to them. Oh man, livestock transport? Is that all you've got? Think of the credits, think of the credits, think of ...

Monday, September 27, 3300

Regrouping at Hese

The closest jumpgate led to Hese and my hull barely held up to get me there. I was glad to see the other side of hyperspace and floored it to the closest habitable platform in case they followed.

The staff at Scientific Base "Quantum" were non-plussed with my report, and chided my escape without any Dominator components. They were mildly interested in the nodes, but mentioned that they had been sending all their nodes to the Ranger's Base. Sold off the lone component I managed to snaffle, a deflector from a destroyed human battleship. That and a score of minerals that made their way into my hold.

With a bit more cash in hand, I looked into their upgrade services for equipment. The scanner had let me down being unable to penetrate the Dominator's shields, so it was the first target for improvement. 1200cr to get it ramped up to 14% penetration, but that should do for now. Unfortuately that's all I can afford at the moment.

After reflecting on my performance against the Dominators, I definitely need more forepower and possibly a bigger ship. I'm super impressed with the repair droids and the extra tunnels through the ship. They saved my bacon through that fight. I need money though, and deliveries are sounding pretty good right now.

Wednesday, September 22, 3300

Battle for Antares

I dumped the luxuries from my hold. 2cr loss per unit, but they'll only slow me down in battle. We dashed to the hangar, refuelled and jumped into the Antaren battlefront.

From the hyperspace exit nothing looked amiss. No ships at all were coming up on the scanner, only a deserted planet sweeping nearby called "Hell". Nice touch. We plotted course for Eif, the Faeyan controlled planet that controlled the sector.

Approaching Eif, the remnants of battle were strewn though space. Dominator ships were now visible attacking a pirate base in the sector, and only 2 system-bound battleships remained. The pirate base lasted a heartbeat longer before imploding with torpedo fire. The Dominators now turned their attention back to the planets .. and us!

With a larger fleet, a faster fleet, and a more deadly fleet, now was probably the time for retreat. It would be nice to drop one though, I'm pumped for some action.

Omallor and I headed back toward the jump point. Only one has us locked on, so maybe it will be a more even dogfight. Who knows, maybe we can give them the runaround until more support arrives?

The battleships retreated planetside to leave us the only ships in the dominators path. Luckily the Neutron star was between us and the main fleet as we tried to outrun the torpedoes.

Omallor was copping the brunt of the attack, so I ordered him back to "Glove", the human colony of Antares. I tried to make it to some debris of a previous battle to grab at least some spoils of war.

It looked like Omallor would make it, but a final shot on entering "Glove" breached the hull and sent him blazing into the atmosphere. The automatic messaging system confirmed my guilt:

A couple more rangers had hyperjumped in, and a repaired battleship re-entered the fight to take some of the heat off me. I'd managed to hoover up some nodes that the research station wanted (energy source for the Dominators or something?), and found myself with only one to contend with. A big one though:

With a faster ship and the Rethone working to slow it down even more, I had the scrim under control, but another Dominator joined the fight to make things interesting. Unfortunately my scanners can't penetrate his shields to figure out how much I'm damaging him, but the repair droids are going flat out and keeping me stable with half my hull gone.

A few torpedoes got through from the original larger ship to slowly knock more of my hull away to 1/3, but luckily a trader gated in close by and drew away his attention. I'm way out past the gate points now, but it's only me and the one designated as "Menok Netset -16-" out here. It must be getting damaged as there's visible signs of damage in the rear view mirror and it's been leaking nodes for a while. Might be a tight race.

Got'im yes! Got down to 63 hull remaining, but the repair droids won the battle. I'd turned around to get a head start on picking up the nodes it was jettisoning. Lucky too, as the Rangers holding the main fleet's attention had vanished (no messages on their demise, so I'm guessing they are repairing on planet). A different variant with torpedoes led the pack and had caught up to me by the time I'd repaired 1/2 my hull back. With the rest of the fleet hot on my tail it's probably a good time to jump out of here. I've got my kill, but it wasn't worth losing a wingman for.

Monday, August 23, 3300

A Trading Nightmare


I get to Redea and they have a completely different view of what my luxuries are worth. 158cr. 40 less than what I bought them for! So now I have a hold full of expensive paperweights that I'm stuck with. Theoretically I could sell them, but not much else is on offer as a good deal and I'm blowed if I'll take a loss on a trade!

After handing over the books (should have burned them, lying bastards) I pocketed the credits and headed to Pune-Anita to see if they had a need for luxuries. Their price was a lot better, but still under what I paid for them. They needed a delivery to Orlenon but i'm in a sour mood.

Precious little else was on offer, so getting out of here sounded better and better. Just then a broadcast came over the holotubes, "Dominators are attacking Antares!". Wow, that's just in the next solar system! Time for some action O'mallor!

Wednesday, August 18, 3300

Childrens Books

The chancellor had another task waiting for me when I got back, along with a sob story about the Gaalian's child rearing inadequacies. They would be a lot better if they had a whole heap of our children's books, so they are sending 3 tonne of dusty leatherbacks over to get chewed on by an entirely different race. They are offering 2900 credits, so that's enough to spur me into action.

Looking at the star map it will be a 2 hop trip, refuel at Minnaver and then on to Regulus. Should be painless.

I'm finding the information search to be a godsend in more and more ways. First it had helped isolate the gripper I wanted, and now I've found out it lists the prices at far away planets! Digging up Redea (the final destination) and comparing back to local Mars prices it looked like luxuries would net a profit of around 20 cr each. It's a pity I'm still relatively poor, but the bonuses from the ground assault means I can take 23 tonne with me. Might at least cover the repair bills.

Wednesday, July 7, 3300

Ground Offensive

I actually did pick up one of those research droids. Felt like something to do while no-one was asking me to do stuff. Dropped it off a Neptune and it indicated over 300 days to finish a full scan of the system. I won't be waiting around for that.

Mars is next in line as a potential revenue source and the Chancellor obliged by requesting help in a ground offensive. I hadn't tried being a General before, but as an avid strategy fan back on Earth I felt confident it was something I'd like to learn.

The ground offensive started slowly with the enemy happy to sit back while I built up an invading force. The robots in use were the best-of-breed components for long range warfare, with mobility and healing thrown in for good measure.

The ground offensive went well with only 3 droids isolated and destroyed. All 3 bases were captured in just over 7 minutes, gaining almost 4000 credits and a wealth of ground experience. They looked impressed at the ease of which I finished the task. I just gave them a wink and said: "Computer games, mate. Pew pew!"

Monday, June 21, 3300

Open Space

After returning to Earth, they welcomed me back with fanfare. I've completed my training, I'm now a fully fledged Ranger!

As a ranger, the true impact of the Dominators was revealed; they control more than half the solar systems in the galaxy! I'm tasked to find out more information at Proturbance Research Station.

Hah, they are a set of comedians in research. "First you enrol in the Army, then you come to us to findd you you're fighting?" Good one. The Dominator information seemed sensitive, so I'll leave it off these open channels. Suffice to say that they aren't like us and not much is known about them.

A lot of the research oriented services on offer didn't seem to appeal apart from enhancing components of my ship. It's a pity I'm a poor boy because I'm sure I'd like to improve the performance of just about everything. The only thing I could afford was an upgrade to the 10 tonne fuel cell to make it hold 22 units of fuel. Almost worth swapping out my 27 tonne tank for the extra space. Actually a quick glance at the starmap and there's nothing past a 20 parsec jump in range anyway. There may be other jumps that need the extra 2 units of fuel, but for now I'll swap over.

They also showed me a research droid that is able to locate abandoned items on uninhabited planets. Sounds worse than scumming for rocks, but at least you don't have to wait around while it does the scanning.

Now it's a trip to .. well .. anywhere. There's no set agenda now apart from taking down the Dominators whenever I have the chance. I might pop back to Earth and see if they know of any more problems to fix ...

Saturday, May 22, 3300

Back to Earth

I had to report back to Earth after destroying the robot, so another quick jump and I'm back in Sol system. The promise of another good trade coaxed me toward Venus first, but the rock trail led me over to Dream instead.

Uhh, how did they get in there? Maybe they misheard me order the new laser I picked up from The Golden Calf?
Maybe ;)

On Dream there was an AWESOME new ship. It was a special order from the Minnaver Space Docks, complete with droid tunnels for increased droid repair. Don't quite have enough, but it looks like an excellent buy!

Nothing else was worth buying on my way to Venus, so I left the hold empty for more rock collecting. There seems to be quite a bit just floating around the solar system. Why isn't anyone else hoovering it up?

At Venus I may have found the answer. My gripper was almost broken from overuse and took 100cr to fix! Still, that's only ~10 tonne of rock. I must have shunted close to 150 tonne by now.

The Venetian traders also had a repair droid for sale that I had my eye on last time through. It's an early model, but it's been enhanced from the normal 5 units of repair to 13 units. The trader had indicated that they help fix minor damage from, say, running into asteroids, and can also be a godsend in a dogfight extending your lifespan. Well, technically the hull's lifespan, but once the hull goes, you go. So I think the important thing here is ensuring I don't .. err .. go.

Most of my equipment (including the shiny new droid) had to be left behind on Venus to make way for ~230 tonnes of medicine destined for Earth. Prices for Equipment had reversed too, so I made a double trip to keep the trader in me happy.

There was enough in the kitty to head back to Dream to see if that Gaalian hull was still there. It was, and now it's mine. A dream come true! (heh)

There was a slimline gripper on sale too. It was pretty busted up, but worth the 1200 credits to complete the set of lightweight components to go with the new hull. Now I'm flat broke, but grinning from ear to ear!

Monday, April 19, 3300

The Golden Calf

After the explosion there were salvageable parts left drifting, a laser and a fuel cell. I nabbed both and headed to the closest port, a Business Centre called "The Golden Calf".

It turns out I have a mounting point available for another weapon, so I may as well install the salvaged one. The fuel cell is light at 10 tonnes for 15 units of fuel, but still too small for a serious jump. Might hang on to it anyway, could be handy keeping some fuel in reserve.

Since I'm at a Businesss Centre I checked out what other services they have on offer. They offer loans as well as investment opportunities. A long term loan looked Ok since 2595 days sounded a long time until they wanted their money back.

You can also organize to get a trading analysis done to see what goods are worth shipping. For 32cr it's a bargain. The analysis revealed a previous trading circuit: Medicine from Venus to Earth.

.. Wait, what? Medicines FROM Venus?

I guess the medical crisis is now over and they've realized that they now have far too many medicines (because I dumped them there) whereas Earth have none (because I took them from there). Oh well, I better get back over there and rectify the situation (and make a profit, teehee)

Saturday, April 3, 3300


Hyperjumps were a piece of cake. Point & click on the starmap and everything else is autopilot. I was expecting stars warping and my body being strecthed to infinity, but it's not that bad at all. Inside hyperspace it's like a glowing tunnel; hard to describe really.

We flew from our exit point on the edge of the solar system to Astaron with only minor diversions to fill my hold with rock. Astaron is another Human colony with an orbit close to Earth's, but the surface looks more like Mars.

Digging through the spare parts on offer I found a lightweight Trasion Scanner to further increase my default carrying capacity. The trader let me in on a little secret though, the more expensive the item the more expensive the repair bill. With this scanner being double the price I could expect to fork over double the money in repairs too. Maybe the expensive lightweight Radar wasn't best option?

The chancellor made sure I had refuelled after my first jump before giving another task to shoot down a moving target. Whoah! Space combat! Awrighty!

You're on IP-4.. err .. robot.

Nearly got ya! (and so did the Asteroid!)

And there he goes. Piece of cake!

Tagging along is another pilot called Orollin. He's a wannabe Ranger, but didn't have the credits to get started (thanks again, Dad). He was so impressed that I shot down the droid that he offered to follow me around for a year to 'learn from a real Ranger'. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was only a training mission.

Wednesday, March 10, 3300

Space Trip

Well that was 8 days wasted. Here's your rocks, now what?

We spent the day going through the nuances of the hyperjump drive. My engine has the ability of atmospheric flight on planets, space flight for between planets and now hyperjumps to travel between solar systems. My next task is to travel to Betelgeize, an 8 parsec jump. It all sounds good in theory, but there's been rumours floating around the mess hall about monsters in the empty space between jumps. The instructor waved away the rumours as hogwash though, and personally vouched for over 40 years of hyperjump travel without incident.

With 10 grand burning a hole in my pocket, I took a trip through Trader Alley to see if there was anything useful for my ship. The first purchase was a larger capacity fuel cell that held 24 units of fuel. That's the jump capacity of my engine, so it only made sense that I needed the same amount of fuel for the jump. The merchant agreed (don't they all?).

Next up was a lightweight Subtransfer Radar. The salesman mentioned the virtues of a sleeker design was that you got the same functionality with less hull space taken up (it's 1/2 the weight at 15 tonnes). That meant more room for trading and I'm all for that. It was expensive though at 4000cr, almost 1/2 my money.

So we're all set for a jump to Betelgeize, hope I get to write about it on the other side!

Thursday, March 4, 3300

Mining (officially)

The next mission from Earth is to demonstrate how to mine. Haven't i done that already? Actually I've still got some rocks in the hold from the trip over, does that count? 

Apparently not. All recruits need to go out and shoot down the lonely asteroid and return with the remains. Ho Hum.

Friday, February 26, 3300


Earth has no more Medicine available for trade, Venus is out of Equipment too, but boy are my pockets full! The trips were getting so large I left all non-essentials on Earth to take even more cargo:

After a month I've made over 10,000cr. I guess I've mastered trading? Time to head back to Oldy and see what they want me to do next ...

Sunday, January 31, 3300

Time vs Money

Another potential gain is to sell the equipment quickly. If you can make 500cr profit in 5days rather than in 10 days it would be better because you could then have the potential to make more in the remaining 5 days. Eventually all trades come down to a rate of increase of your credits. The faster the better.

As it happens, Venus is passing very close to Earth in its orbit as well as Oldy, the Ranger Station. Dropping off the goods there would mean a sale in 2 days or 4 days respectively compared to an 8 day trek across the solar system to Dream. Earth being the closest is an obvious choice as long as it has around the same prices.

Turns out it's got better prices! 95cr per equipment means that I'll rake in an extra 700cr over what I was expecting. Quick! Turn around and sell some more while the prices are running hot!

Wednesday, January 27, 3300

Full Hull vs High Returns

The hull conundrum bred some interesting choices. Do I leave minerals in my hull due to the current poor price, or do I clear them out for more manufactured equipment that is offered at an unbelievable rate? Time for some math:

1) 38 tonnes @ 6cr now would give 228cr to bring my total to 2665. That would allow buying 42 tonnes of equipment @ 63cr each. Selling all 42 for potentially 77cr would eventually net 3234cr. Add the 19cr we'd have left after buying the equipment would mean we should have 3253cr.

2) Leave the rocks for now and get 11cr when I get back to Dream. 38 tonnes would give 418cr. The hull can only take another 29 tonne, so 29 equipment @ 63 would cost 1827 (which we have) and net 2233cr if selling at 77cr each in Dream. That would mean we should have 2437 - 1827 + 2233 + 418 = 3261cr

So it's (marginally) better to leave the rocks in the hull. The first solution suffers from having a partly empty hull. All our money has been invested in high return equipment, but the free areas of the hull could have been used to make additional profit off the rocks we sold at a lower price.

The opposite is true for solution 2; We have 610cr left over after filling our hull with equipment, but equipment would make more money (63->77=14cr) per unit of space than carrying the rocks (6->11=5cr). We'd be better off filling our hold with as much equipment that we could buy

So solution 3, try to maximize both hull space and money:
3) If we sell 10 units of rocks @ 6cr we bolster our initial money from 2437 to 2497, which will allow us to buy 39 units of equipment, the exact amount of space we have left. So we'd leave Venus with 0 tonnes of space and 40cr to our name. We'd then sell off the remaining 28 tonnes of rock @ 11cr for 308cr and sell off the 39 units of equipment for potentially 77cr to make 3003cr. That should leave us with 40 + 308 + 3003 = 3351cr! Almost 100cr better off by just leveraging the capacity of both hull and money.

Venus arrival

Lasers definitely work on Asteroids. Managed to blast 2 rocks down into smaller chunks for pickup, but one still hit me !!?! Space is a dangerous place.

One of the pieces scanned up at 68 tonnes! That sucker would have filled the hull, but my gripper couldn't drag anything larger than 40. Maybe I can nudge it down to Venus? Nup.

The Venus landing pad was full of traders with the same idea; drop off medicines while the price is sky high. It didn't matter much though, the meds went for double the price I bought them for. Nice little tidy profit. They weren't so keen on the rocks though as the disease had halted production of equipment and ore was everywhere.

The government's placed an export incentive on the remaining manufactured equipment to keep the economy moving during the crisis. Basically means they're cheap. Cheap enough to buy and make another trip to the medical centre for another double-up in money. I still have rocks clogging up my hull though. Do I sell them here for a crappy 6cr a pop or hold on to them for 11cr at Dream? Choices, choices...

Wednesday, January 13, 3300

Rocks for Medicine

On my way to Medical Centre Dream, an asteroid ploughed into my ship! Shook me up a little and bent the mining laser a little. Hmm, mining laser. Maybe I'm supposed to shoot the rocks? The explosion left a couple of lesser rocks that the ship's scanner picked up as valuable, so I let the gripper do its thing and dragged them aboard.

Turns out the scanner was right. Traders were happy to part with more meds when shown the rocks I'd collected. Might be a worthwhile venture; I give you rocks, you give me money. Win / Win.

Sunday, January 3, 3300

Medicine to Venus

It's amazing how much a little ranger badge changes people's attitude toward you. I was able to head straight in to the chancellor's office to receive a mission rather than being a guard's punching bag.

Sounds like there's an outbreak on Venus again; Infoclemidia. I'm tasked to take them a hull full of stims from the medical base to 'ease the pressure'. Might turn a tidy profit too!

Friday, January 1, 3300

Raw Recruit

Today's the big day: 1st of January, 3300. Turn of the century and the biggest party this side of Rigel. Not for me though, I'll be making my own fireworks in the Old Ranger training centre.

Space flight is different than what I imagined. They steer like the aeroflots at home when in the atmosphere, but once you get out the controls tighten up and your bearings get screwed. Dad's advice was to travel fast and watch your back. Well, I got the first part down pat and it's AWESOME!

Ranger Station "Old" is a hive of activity. Here's a pic of my training instructor along with my omni-watch overlay to translate what he's saying:

Apparently the stories Dad used to tell me about the Dominators are real, and as a Ranger they are our primary task. We're free to tackle them any way we see fit though, so trading, mercenary work, or even piracy could be tolerated if it means getting closer to information about the dominators. They are still a little cagey about the details until I've completed the training, but I'm in no rush to meet them.

We've also stumbled across a couple of extra bonuses Dad had preinstalled, a Rethone cannon and an advanced engine. I guess he was serious about the speed:

Oh hey, that was me in the corner!

Speaking of Dad I found him in the list of Rangers too. They have somewhat of a leaderboard to promote competition amongst the pilots. I'm at the bottom with Orollin above me with a couple of missions already completed and some Dominator action. Nothing like my Dad though; 39 dominators killed to be 14th on the list!

We're also taken through a briefing on map reading. Our solar system is simply know as the "Sun" inside the "Qaragon" sector (what happened to the 'u'?). Phaavy and Khisha sectors have systems within one jump, although I'm told we'll be getting to that later ..

First mission is to fly back to Earth. If it weren't for the bio exam I could have saved myself the trip!