By Alec Meer on September 28th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.
I’m feeling pretty good, which is exactly the sort of thing one should never say in FTL. Doom, disaster and dismay inevitably looms, but having pulled my ship and my crew back from the brink of disaster at least I’ve got a war story out of it. Now, let’s see what’s out there in Sector 6 – this needs to go well, as I’m now just two sectors away from the final f(l)ight – presuming I survive that long.
Offered the choice between a Zoltan or Rebel-held sector, I opt for the latter. I don’t want to be a coward anymore.
We find an Autoscout with stealth on our first jump, lurking in an asteroid field. It keeps hiding, which is infuriating as it means we just sit there watching and waiting for it to decloak, while asteroids bully our shields all the while. Once the damn thing finally does emerge it doesn’t take much to biff it to oblivion. /Me flexes.
We’re given a quest, which involves making a few jumps to the North (is there a North in space?), and some scrap for our troubles. I’ve got that itch again now. The retail itch.
Another stealth scout. Sigh. Same process, same slightly annoying tedium, same suprising lack of challenge once the bugger stops hiding.
However, its demise and the subsequent looting of its carcass finally gives me enough scrap to do something I’ve been waiting a long, long time for. We finally picked up a proper gun a couple of sectors back, but we weren’t able to upgrade weapons and reactor enough to use it. Now we can. Now we are a fully armed and operational but frighteningly fragile battlestation. Say hello to my little Hull Beam. Game over man, game over. You’re too old for this shit. I am Spaceacus. Stop throwing those bloody spacelasers at me.
Another stealth drone, but my brand new gun – I HAVE A GUN NOW I CAN’T BELIEVE IT – in combination with the trust Ion Blast messes it up pretty quick. I’ve got a bit of a power trip going on now, I don’t mind telling you.
Fuel’s on the wane again, mind, and I’ve just spent all my scrap. Shop!
Another rebel scout. No cloak this time, but it’s threatening to jump away and tell on me – which would mean the Rebel fleet would catch up to me fast.
It’s a weirdly tough fight, as this idiot’s shields do not want to go down. It gets a few good hits on our hull, then dies without the good grace to leave us a decent reward.
Yet another Rebel autodrone – this is the space rebellion equivalent of a supermarket where all the checkouts have been replaced by those self-scanners that scream all your purchases are the wrong weight.
This autodrone has lots of missiles, it transpires. We are now down to 50% hull again. Nng.
A store! That is exciting, though I don’t experience the same rapture as in Sector 5 as, for a change, we are not 99% dead.
We’ve picked up a reasonable amount of scrap by now, so I decide it’s time for a new friend. Welcome to the crew Steven Dengler, who is a Mantis.
This means he’s rubbish at repairing stuff, but good at biffing stuff. Thus, we have some onboard muscle in the case of an enemy boarding party. As we already have a Steven onboard I’d like to call him Security Officer Dengler, but he frightens me a little so I just order him to hang around in the air supply room as it’s a short walk to most other areas of the ship should invaders arrive.
The rest of our cash I spend on hull and fuel. Again. C’est la vie.
It’s a rebel ship, a proper one this time, and it has ALL THE MISSILES IN THE WORLD. Boom, boom, boom, boom. There goes my shiny new hull. What a money pit this ship is. The Rebels also have a crew transporter, which means Security Officer Dengler gets to rend flesh with his mighty talons immediately. He’s really very good at it.
Whee, another store. Hey, guess what we’re going to do here? I’m Sisyphus in space.
Another drone fight, another immediate loss of 25% of newly-restored hull. This is getting ridiculous. I need to raise enough cash to ramp up either shields or evasion, and stop wasting every penny on repairs. Long-term survival, not short-term limping along.
We reach the destination for that quest from earlier, which turns out to involve the four hundred and eighty thousandth auto-drone we’ve fought in this sector.
We win with not too much harm done for a change and we’re rewarded with a new gun. Ooh! Except it’s worse than the one I already have. Oh.
I could spend what’s become a decent amount of scrap again on more weapon capacity so it could work in tandem with my existing gun, but… No, I’ll save it for something else.
You have three guesses as to what kind of enemy I encountered here, and the first two don’t count.
In this case, the autodrone is harassing a civilian ship. We take some more hull damage, but as the civilians are grateful they give us a reward in addition to the scrap we looted from Autodrone #56546543654375423232233246667009099. There’s quite a lot of scrap in the bank now, so let’s talk defence. I opt for wwo lots of engine (i.e. evade) upgrades and the reactor upgrades necessary to power them, and an upgrade to our blast doors to stop intruders roaming or fire spreading like… well, wildfire. Fire like wildfire. Great simile Captain Meer, great simile.
Whoopsie, I’ve delayed too long and now the rebels are waiting at the sector exit. There’ll be a big fight on our hands just to get out of here.
As I’m warming up the guns, I notice something’s amiss. It takes a while to work out just what it is.
What the hell? We have a new crew member, who I hadn’t even noticed had come aboard. He’s lurking in the cockpit with Tacky, doing sod all. This doesn’t make a lick of sense. Is he a spy? A hitcher? Is an alternate dimension leaking into this one? After toying with whether I should chuck him out of the airlock just to be on a safe side, eventually I decide he must have been part of my gift package for the quest I resolved a few jumps back, but I was so wrapped up in shopping that I didn’t notice him arriving. What a terrible host I am. So, a belated hello to Weston, who’s another Engi. Keep an eye on Droid Control please Weston, we need those little guys in the fight at all times.
Speaking of the fight, there’s one against a Rebel cruiser that I should start paying attention to right now. With two enemy crew immediately beaming aboard and missiles flying everywhere, Ensign Weston immediately makes himself useful by pegging it over to the immediately bombed O2 supply while Dengler and Tacky deal with an invasion in the cockpit.
This rebel ship is weirdly resistant to taking damage, but fortunately our FTL drive is now charged. There’d be little to gain from winning this fight, but everything to gain from escaping from it before anything went south. Some might call it cowardly. I call it a dramatic exit. We’re out of here. WAZZZZZZZUMP-blink.
(That’s my faster than light jump impression. Did you like it?)
To be continued