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The flight of the Hades!!!

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“The sleek lines of the Hades belies the steel beneath”

The words stuck with me as I flicked over the stats of the first ship I had ever captured.

Truth be told capturing ships was not even on my radar just 3 hours out of flight school. I had apparently got far more important things to worry about like single handedly saving Earth from a resurgent terraformer threat, or something like that. I had been drinking heavily the night before at a bar I know on the dark side of Uranus (its cheap – alright!) and slept through most of my briefing – sounds important though, you would have thought they would have more experienced pilots for this kind of thing!

Still, to get an assignment like this, with this much freedom, not reporting through the usual chain of military command, who was I to complain.

I had been running a simple station protection mission in Grand Exchange. My state of the art Sabre against a hand-full of assorted pirate M3’s and M4’s. To be honest I cannot even recall seeing a Hades – not that I knew enough about alien ships back then to have recognised one if I had. But as I started to sift through the debris for the odd abandoned missile to sell on the open market there it was, well actually it was the space suit I noticed first on the scanner, and close by an abandoned Hades.

“The best of paranoid technology” – had vaguely heard of the Paranoid, but had not met one yet. Well it looked the part, hell did it look the part. And an M8, not that I knew what an M8 was, but if an M7 was better than an M6 then clearly this M8 was going to be better than an M7, and I had learnt enough in my 3 hours to know that having M7’s was a good thing. God this ship must be good – and that was so simple, it was just laying there!

Fast, sleek, but with no shields and only 33% hull! Time to try this repair laser thingy built in to my space suit. After what felt like a day I was up to a whole 34%, okay so may only have been 5 minutes before I got bored and gave up! As a result of the hull damage the engines were limited to 28m/s but capable of a whole lot more once I got this baby repaired, time to get it to a ship-yard.

OK, so call me picky, but there is just something about Teladi work-man-ship that just makes me question whether they can handle something as sophisticated as my Hades! I mean have you seen the ships they build, look like they have taken some old containers and welded them together, tell me how they are eever going to cope with these ssleek lines! So I painstakingly escort it back to the shipyard at Omicron Lyrea for repair. With a whole 52k credits to my name I was hoping the repairs would not be too much, I needed to get some weapons on this beast and go play! “Yup, we can bash those dents out for you no problem” said the Argon mechanic, “have her good as new, be around 3.5m credits, shall we start straight away?”

“Hmmm, let me think about that, might try and get another quote, err, actually I don’t need it straight away so let me just keep it parked with you and I’ll get back to you” They were offering me 3m credits to take what was left of it off my hands, but it was “sleek” and it had “steel” and it was an M8, which was clearly one up from an M7 so it just had to be so Uber! I just had to keep it!

The next 5 days I worked tirelessly, taking mission after mission, advancing my Terran rank and access to build up the funds to repair my prized possession! Those 5 days were filled with day-dreams of what I would do in my invincible Hades. Once it was repaired that was it, the universe had better watch out because there was a new player in town, err, Sector.

I finally had the money in my account though, enough not just for the repairs but to max its shields out as well and some left over for weapons. I happily paid for the repairs and left my Sabre in the bay to go off and play.

I added some shields, 5x25Mj. Hmm, thought it would have bigger shields than that. Must be to make room for bigger engines (it is quick) and bigger guns! Now for those weapons, so I pull up the schematics and look at the compatible lasers. OK, I can find the listing for Turret 1, but where is the list for the main guns! What … there are no main guns!!!

And then it dawned on me, I was actually supposed to read the Instruction Booklet the instructor had given me at flight school!

As my empire slowly grew and new challenges presented themselves, taking out a K in my Sabre after finding a hole in its structure where its turrets could not target me, being given a Vidar by the Terran authorities – granted after saving their buts for the n’th time, starting to build my own factories, the Hades became a dim and distant memory. After trying it out, very unsuccessfully, it got relegated to a fast freighter, and then when I discovered explorer software became my chief scout and then it became responsible for laying the start of my advanced satellite network.

I was more than a little saddened one day, sifting through a heap of old message log reports, to see that my Hades had been destroyed – I think it had run in to an angry swarm of space-flies or something equally inept. But still, every time I hear “The sleek lines of the Hades" a wry grin comes over my face and I remember the distant memories of how we were going to conquer the universe together.
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