These were the voyages of the Starship Moggy. Its eight-sector mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new weapons and new system upgrades, to boldly go somewhere no-one has come back alive from before (apart from save-scummers).
Sector 8. The end of the line.
OK, let's appraise the situation. Full hull, plenty of fuel, two guns, three drones (can't use 'em all at once, mind), six crew, final sector, the enemy flagship is five jumps away. ARE WE READY FOR THIS?
The immediate question is whether to make a beeline straight for the flagship, lest it get to close to Federation HQ while I'm noodling away on the other side of the sector, or jump around the immediate area trying to raise a few more supplies?
I rather think I'd like to avoid the inevitable for now, if it's all the same to you.
We jump straight to a rebel ship, of course. No more running away this time. We fight or we die, as someone with a buzzcut once said.
I like this enemy ship's compact layout, because I can target 5 rooms at once with my hull beam. Zapzapzapzapzap.
We take some hits, we win some scrap. Not enough of it to be useful - yet.
Straight to a repair yard, seeing as it's so local. Free hull repairs! I would have killed for this in the last seven sectors.
Of course, the rebels will have taken this repair yard for their own nefarious, barely-explained purposes soon enough. Thanks for the assist, guys.
Another rebel, which is no surprise. They beam two invaders straight to our cockpit, but as they're mere human fleshbags they're no match for the mighty Security Officer Dengler. Sic 'em, boy.
These blighters have tier 3 shields again, which makes the fight more drawn-out than I'd like. Soon enough though, the babies are pleading for mercy.
They're in my people's home sector, slaughtering them, seeking to eradicate all they hold dear, and they ask for mercy? I SAID GOOD DAY, SIR.
We survive with no hits. Yay! Still not quite enough scrap for what I want, though. Not quite...
Another rebel, and this one's got all the tricks. A level 4 shield, a couple of drones, a pair of invaders and it's relentlessly and successfully trying to knock my weapons offline.
We're locked in an awful stalemate, neither of us doing any damage. I could end this by fleeing, but I'm living on borrowed time as it is - I don't want to heap any more shame upon myself than I need to.
I switch out my Defence Drone II (which uses 4 power) for my two attack drones (2 power each). It's putting ourselves at risk, but effectively doubling our damage. Can we hit, and hard, before they take down our shields?
We can. I feel good. No running today.
The Rebel offers surrender. I grudgingly accept, cursing myself all the while, as it's offering a generous amount of scrap in exchange for its life.
It's enough: with it, I can buy two drone room upgrades and one reactor, meaning I can now push out one of my attack drones in addition to the defence one. I'm 10 scrap short of getting a second reactor upgrade, which means I'll have to turn something off to power both drones. I think we can stand to lose 5% of evasion capability from the engine, can't we? Er.
Nothing. Not a sausage. We're in the middle of a galactic war and there's nothing here. Bit creepy, really.
I could do with a bit more scrap, but the rebel flagship is now but two jumps from our homebase. We can delay no longer. We have to go and save the universe now. Uh. Have I got time for a coffee first? Or a holiday? A holiday would be lovely. No? OK.
We emerge into the shadow of a ship far, far larger than anything we've seen before. It has more rooms than Hugh Hefner, four of which are dedicated to weapons. It has a level 4 shield. It has All The Drones. It's a behemoth. And I am terrified.
Attack drone + defence drone, go!
Ion blast vs shield, go!
Hull beam vs drone control, 1x weapon room, the camera room and an empty room, go!
It immediately goes into stealth, the fuck.
Still cloaked, with me unable to fire a shot, it lands a direct hit to my engines, followed by an ion blast to my shields. Hey, that's my trick!
Time... slows. Becomes a sequence of still images. I blink and I'm in a different crisis. Blink again and the scene has changed, now with more fire, more breaches.
Blink. Engine and oxygen supply, hit and on fire. Steven and Dengler rush to the latter with fire extinguishers.
Blink. A breach in an empty room. Ohm heads over, arc welder in hand.
Blink. Drone room and weapon room partially damaged, yellow art. Hull beam is offline. Defence drone is offline. Steven and Dengler are on route, having dealt with the oxygen room fire.
Blink. There's not been even a single a hit on the enemy yet. But our weapons are back online...
Blink. They're down to one shield! We can do this!
Blink. A breach in our medbay. Air rushes out, the lights turn red.
Blink. A breach in our door control room.
Blink. A missile takes out our cameras. I can't even see where the fires are now.
Blink. We're down to 50% hull. We score a third hit on theirs. We can do this!
Blink. Dengler and Steven are burned alive while trying to extinguish a fire in the medbay. We don't have time to grieve.
Blink. Our dones are all offline.
Blink. Our weapons are all offline.
Blink. The cockpit is on fire.
Blink. We get one attack drone back out there.
Blink. Our hull is at 5%. Our oxygen is at 20%.
Blink. Missiles incoming. Lasers incoming. Drones incoming. Everything is offline.
Hang on a minute lads, I've got a great idea!