With two sectors survived, things don't look to good for the good ship Moggy, crewed by two Engis and a human named after cats I have known. The hull's taken a beating, we've almost no cash and we don't yet have any upgrades to speak of. Meantime, our enemies forever snap at our heels, and the challenges we'll face in this next, Zoltan-ruled sector will likely be stiffer than that we've yet faced. Anything could happen, though. After all, space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. It might even be big enough that I'll find a gun in it somewhere. Oh, please dear lord let me find a gun.
Well, it's not an entirely bleak start. Just one short hop away is a store. Imagine what goodies it might have for me!
No, no, once again I can only afford to fix my hull. We've been here before, haven't we?
We're invited to participate in a Zoltan research study. All they want to do is stick things in our bottoms, and no doubt bounteous rewards await. It's a deal!
OH FOR FU...
The pirates that disrupt our little medical conference immediately beam four intruders onto my ship, while simultanteously pummeling me with rockets and lasers. My ability to fight back is severely hampered by the fact they immediately trash my weapons system, so our trusty Ion Blast is temporarily out of action.
So, another war of attrition it is, but fortunatley they don't have all that much in the way of armaments, so by the time I've taken out their mini-horde we've not taken too many hard knocks. The tried and tested Ion-to-shield + attack drone strategy wins out fairly quickly.
And ooh, a reward! A proper reward! It's a second attack drone, this time a Beam one. Our damageability has just increased by 100% - although having two drones active at any one time is going to eat into our Drone Ports hoard frighteningly quickly.
We run into a stranded Zoltan ship, begging for fuel. We've got 14 barrels left, which is neither good or bad. I'll risk it. We really could do with chums out here, after all. They take 4 barrels and repay me with - drumroll please - 91 scrap. Hey, that's not at all bad. And there's another shop right nearby...
With no weapons in stock. Not a sausage. Nnnnnng. So, once again, I stock up on fuel and drone parts, but I've got enough left over to upgrade my shield generator twice - which gets me a second layer of shielding. Ooh, I feel all rugged.
Oh look, some lovely, shiny, no doubt resource-packed asteroids that I can't mine BECAUSE I HAVE NO GUN. Onwards! Again.
Nothing. What a waste of fuel. Again.
Ah, this is more like it. Thank you, space-Jesus. We find an abandoned Zoltan freighter, from which we scavenge useful amounts of scrap, fuel and drone parts. With no sign of another store in this sector I'm not expecting to find any guns on offer, so I spend my spacebucks on two reactor upgrades - so, if needed, I can have both shield tiers and two drones active simultaneously. I'm a real boy now!
We run straight into a Rebel Rigger. I can't help but indulge myself in my new toy, even though it's probably not necessary and thus a wanton waste of drone parts. But let me have this, let me have a show of force just this once.
The buggers dream a drone on board, which takes out oxygen and both my drones. Still, by the time the dust settles on the onboard fight and everything's repaired, we're standing with only minor hull damage.
We're right near the exit, but there's a bit of time to play with before the rebel fleet catches up with us, so let's forge on into the unknown.
At the next stop, a bunch of religious zealots on a Zoltan cruiser want me to come look at a magic rock. I stare at it. It, presumably, stares back at me. But it doesn't say anything. That's all the proof these idiots needs to decide I'm a heretic who must be destroyed. A fight it is then, but how hard can a bunch of rock-worshipping goons be?
What they might have been lacking in common sense they more than made up for in devastating missiles. And that's why we only have 25% of our hull left intact.
So here's a familiar story. I'm right by the sector exit, I have no money, no weapons and my hull is screwed. Maybe I'd be better off if I workshipped a magic rock too. I mean, it couldn't hurt, right?
just retracing my steps back to the exit. Nothing to see here. Maybe one of the crew had a cup of tea in the meantime. I don't know, I'm the manager, I don't deal with the day-to-day stuff.
And we're at the exit. Before we head through to the next sector, we pick up a signal from a planet surface. Shall I go and look? Guns guns guns guns guns maybe there'll be guns please let there be guns please please.
No guns, but we do manage to rescue someone from whatever disaster is going on down there.
Welcome aboard, Steven. 'Steven'. Funny, I never owned a cat called Steven. Oh well- Stevie, you're on guns. At least something positive came out of this mess.
And we're out of here. The hull is in a terrible state, but I have a second drone, a second tier of shield, no-one is dead and we have a new friend. Actually, that's not bad. Hope! So long as I don't look at the hull. Then I don't have any hope.
At least I have a Steven though.
To be continued... Honestly.