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krm398
19-11-2007, 04:04 PM
Chapter 24: The Pile Grows


They were away from argon space the next day as planned, Kyle insisted on flying so Julian just sat at weapons control and they talked. He mentioned he got a couple of Buzzards at Ceos Doubt the day before and Kyle said to let it cool down. He jumped them into Menelaus’s Paradise, he wanted to see a new Q up close, and Julian said if they got any good ships today they could strip the weapons off and add to the pile for Ban. Kyle agreed and in a few hours they were sitting and laughing, as a couple xenon M’s made their best attempt to bring down the shields. Kyle just laughed as Julian sat popping alpha Kyon emitters at them till one became disabled, and then the rest were destroyed. Julian ordered the little ship to dock and Kyle was impressed.

“I used to have to go out and claim them manually.” Kyle mentioned as Julian just smiled widely.

“Most people still do, but not everyone.” Julian said as his dad shook his finger at him.

“Its not piracy if it’s only used on xenon ships, or pirate ships,” and after a little pause, “Or maybe Ka’ak ships.” He started to laugh as his dad asked him if he ever claimed a Ka’ak ship. Julian said he did but it was from fighting, he never tried claiming one using the software, he was sure that Ben would come up with something like that soon enough.
They had hit an M with a mosquito missile and started the fight, but now a few L’s came running in.

“I’d suggest you go a little bigger this time, these shields wont stand for long with all those HEPT’s hitting them.” Kyle said and Julian agreed. He switched to HEPT’s and Beta Kyon emitters and the fight was much more even. The L’s dropped like flies until the last and it too was disabled and claimed. His dad scanned it and announced it still had 2 good HEPT’s on board so Julian said they would go to Ban and they agreed. They had a fine father/ son outing playing with xenons until Kyle said they better get back. Elena had made him promise he wouldn’t run around the galaxy all the time, but he just couldn’t sit forever and look out the windows, he was sure she understood that, but he wasn’t going to push it. Julian agreed and in a few minutes they were back in Home of Light and Kyle thanked Julian for taking him along,
“We’ll have to do it again sometime.” H e said before beaming over.
Julian went home and got a hot shower and was sitting down just as Saya got dinner ready.
“I’m surprised you and your dad got back so soon.” Saya said with a big grin.

“We both made promises, and the Brennen men are as good as their word, I’ll always try to be back around the same time, if there’s something big I’m working on and can’t make it on time, I’ll call, I promise.” He said seriously and Saya could see that never having his dad around had really stuck to him, he was making sure he didn’t have the same problems with his family this time around.

Kyle also was sitting down to eat and Elena asked if they found anything for Ban today. Kyle said they did, Julian was going to donate the 2 HEPT’s he had gotten today and some mosquito missiles from the factory too. Elena asked if that wasn’t enough, with the 4 new jump engines they were donating, and 5k in E cells, it would look pretty good to all the other stations. Kyle admitted it would help, but he had given Julian the week he asked for and he was sure he wanted the whole week. He was going to go as big as the time allowed him, and Kyle mentioned that depending on what he did they might want to add something else to the “Pile”. Julian wasn’t going to stop till the week was over and Elena just laughed, he still thought he could change the world all by himself, and Kyle agreed, but then he himself had done it in the past and he understood. He just didn’t want to mention it to Elena, he wasn’t sure she would understand.


Julian was in Menelaus’s Paradise again the next day and was having fun flying around and tempting xenons to attack him. He had never had a ship this large and the shields were very impressive. He got another M with the AKE’s and another L with a few well placed missiles. This was even better than his old Raider he decided, but the real test hadn’t come yet, in another hour a full Q patrol came through the east gate and Julian was glad he had just moved. Even this ship would be hard pressed to fight a Q much less and entire patrol. The boron security patrols ran in and started the fight, another Hammerhead was called in, and Julian made a close pass to help take out the fighters. He was thanked for his help as two L’s went pop and a LX was disabled by missile fire. He was well pleased with himself as he pulled away, but was hit hard by PPC fire. He had gotten the fighters to attack him, but now the P was involved too. He opened up on it and the fight started. It was using its big guns and Julian switched to his he had a good supply of missiles and was dropping a few to help out, but less than half got through the turrets. His new ships shields went below half for the first time since he had owned it. He laid down a good barrage of fire and the P lost its shields too, but kept on coming. He was right on Julian’s butt and he saw quickly he couldn’t outrun it, or at least he couldn’t in time. He looked at the radar and smiled, it was right behind him as he was pulling slowly away, but he dropped his speed to match it for a minute, he had a plan, let it chase him, he was better equipped than this ship ever knew. He hit the countdown while his turrets kept the shields down. As he slowed down it ran even closer, and Julian winsed as the heavy fire continued, but after a few minutes the P turned green and Julian could breathe again. He had proven the new ship could pay for it, and that the repair bay was doing its job, with no shields and 90% hull he ordered the P on board. He was as good as new in a few minutes and the shields were coming up, but he had to send the LX for more E cells or he wasn’t going to have enough to jump home. He smiled as the hull returned and he was a very happy ship owner. He gathered the rest of his prizes and decided he had enough stuff for his dad’s announcement. The P was loaded, and that alone was going to impress people. He had another M for his customers and an L and LX. He decided this was very possibly the best day ever and he jumped home smiling to himself; wait till Saya hears about this, he thought.

He jumped into Ringo Moon and called his dad, he answered immediately and Julian told him he had a really good day, and his half the pile was big enough. Kyle just had to ask what he had and his eyes bugged out as the list was read.

“I’m sorry I missed that, how many ships did you get today and where at?” he was amazed. Julian told him where he was hunting and about the Q patrol and the boron sector teams working it with him, he had a new P to sell and he stripped it all for Ban along with the 2 HEPT’s from the other day and the missiles he thought he had something worthy to add. Kyle just shook his head and smiled, he knew he was going to do something like this , now he had to get a few more things to make his side look better, he just hoped that all the station owners felt the same way. Julian could see his face and knew what he was thinking, he had overdone it again, but he had a plan too. He mentioned pulling all their stuff together and standing together and giving it to Ban as one gift from the two of them, then it didn’t matter who had what, and the list would be very impressive. Kyle smiled and agreed and the time and day were set. It was going to be a surprise for Ban and all of argon, so they decided to get it done quickly.

The day came and Julian and Saya were getting ready for the ceremony. He looked at the closet and asked if he should wear his uniform for it, but Saya just laughed and said no. He was going there as an argon businessman, not a member of the argon intelligence office, it was important he look the part and he agreed. They jumped into Home of Light and landed at the station. The news crews were all there and Ban had just arrived wearing his best uniform. He was asked what was going on, the news crews were asked here by the Brennen Family and they figured it had to be something important. Ban told them he didn’t know anymore than anyone else, he was asked to attend too, and they all had to wait to see together. Kyle waved Julian to the front of the room and said a loud “Ahem!” the room came to a quick silence as Kyle started his speech.

“It is with great honor we gather here today, as my son and I are both successful argon Businessmen we stand together as a symbol of the argon business community. I now ask Commander Ban Danna to come foreword.” Ban knew it was something like this, but he needed all the news coverage he could get and he was happy to be there for whatever Kyle had planned.

“The two of us know how badly the Argon Fleet has it these days, and after some discussion we have decided to present you with this, token of our thanks for being there to serve and protect the argon business community all these years. Many people don’t know that the fleet is currently flying some ships with nearly no shields or barely any guns on board. We feel this is a disgrace for the years of service you and the fleet have put in, so we have organized a donation to help with some of these shortages, and we ask all argon businesses to do the same. Donate whatever you have, food, weapons, ships, whatever so we can all sleep well knowing that argon is safe and secure in the hands of the Argon Navy.” He said with a flourish as the news crews took many pictures of Ban accepting the vidclip with the list on it, he shook Kyle’s hand with tears in his eyes and walked over to Julian and shook his as well. Julian leaned forward with a big smile and said, “Got you this time.” As Ban laughed, he knew a lot of the weapons here would have come from him, but the jump drives and electronics here had come from Terracorp. It was a sizeable list to say the least and he accepted it in the spirit that it was offered. He could clearly see Kyle’s hand in this, but the news crews ate it up. The Family Brennen once again taking the lead in helping argon be strong. Ban made a note to never underestimate these two again, but just smiled and mingled till the party was over.



Chapter 25: Wheels and Deals



A week went by after the announcement and the Argon news slowly showed other businesses giving to the Fleet. Ban had more supplies now than he had for years and even had all three of the new Earth ships up and running. They weren’t fully loaded, but then nothing in the fleet was. It was more important to have them being seen after all that Kyle and Julian had done. It was a good show of how well things were going to have a new ship fly past from time to time. His fighter pilots had missiles for the first time in ages, one station had donated 100 Wasp missiles, and they went right on the fighters. Julian had donated 500 mosquito missiles and Ban didn’t even look to see what else he snuck in while he was making his delivery. He would try to stop him from overdoing it again, but then that is what Saya was for now, he thought chuckling to himself. Ban could set back and wait, things had been quite quiet for a while, and he was glad. He was in better shape than he had been in ages, but he wanted more before things turned around again.

Julian was getting into the habit of asking his dad to come along while he was working and Kyle never refused. Elena realized that they had never had an opportunity to spend time together before so she didn’t mind. Kyle was having the time of his life and Julian was doing better than he ever imagined. With all the different weapon settings he had he decided he could use the C for almost all his capture work, after all ships flew right up to it and attacked, he got novas and falcons almost everyday, and the ship actually repaired itself, so it took it all in stride.

No one had seen or heard from Ban since the announcement, but they both knew he was doing much better. The news mentioned every time someone donated and the business owners got a nice bit of free advertising from the news. It was a win/win so everyone was happy.

Julian was just dropping Kyle off when they got a message from Ban, he wanted to see Kyle as soon as possible so they flew straight there. Ban was in his office a little late tonight waiting, but he didn’t seem to upset. Kyle and Julian walked in and he offered them a seat. Ban said he finally got a credit check from the Senate and he had a little problem. The last few years almost all the combat ships were built in Omicron and he wasn’t about to send that “idiot” any more money than he had too. He asked Kyle to contact Earth about a few more ships. They would be as good or better quality than anything he could get locally, but he was going to order his fighters from the Argon shipyards. It was almost the only plans they still had so he was sure that he could get at least those here. Kyle mentioned the C Julian had and said he had spent a lot of time on it and it was a fine craft, he might want to consider ordering a few of those as well. Ban said he’d consider it, and they shook hands and started on their ways. Kyle promised to call Earth early tomorrow and try getting another deal with Admiral Kovich. He wasn’t as bad as everyone thought, he was just very careful. Ban smiled at that and said good, it was nice to have friends again. Julian asked him where he was going to get his corvette class at. If he wasn’t dealing any more with Omicron he’d be very short of options. Ban shook his head and got a disgusted look, the last time he tried getting corvettes from him he asked 12 million credits each.”12 MILLION” he said loudly, “absolutely out of his mind.” Ban said and Julian laughed,

“I can get 3 for that, well, almost.” He said smiling and Ban looked up at him questioningly.

“3 what, I mean what design can you get?” he asked and Julian informed him he was getting big discounts now on the Marauder A class, it was one of the biggest corvettes out there, and he knew of at least one person who had one modified with 4 shields and called it a frigate. Ban waved for him to stop a second as he pulled up the files. The Marauder was not that much different in design than Argon ships, he might just want to give a couple a try for that kind of price.

“Exactly what price are we talking, with the guns and shields?” he asked and Julian had to think for a minute.

“The last few I bought were for 4.3 million, equipped, that’s with APPC’s up front and either HEPT’s or Kyon emitters in the turrets, so that’s the quote I’d have to give you right now.” Julian said smiling, Ban was impressed, and he couldn’t touch that price for an empty ship, so he asked Julian to order him three for a trial. The funds were transferred and Julian said he’d order them the next day. Things were finally going Argons way after all this time, Ban said, and they all went home.


With all these new business offers’ flying around like spaceflys, Ban was hoping to add a lot of new ships quickly. I f Julian hadn’t mentioned it he was just planning on flying a lot more heavy fighters, but one of these new corvettes would do quite nicely if they lived up to their hype. He got a good nights sleep dreaming of new ships and good friends.


Saya was surprised the next day when Julian didn’t leave for work. He had been very successful with the new ship and had made a serious attempt at paying for itself. He was at the desk when she walked in the next day ordering the new corvettes for Ban. She was more than pleased; he was acting more like a real businessman everyday.

“What are you doing, this is supposed to be MY desk remember.” She said with a big smile.

“Business, Ban wants to order three new corvettes from me and I’m just making the call. Be done here in a minute.” He said seriously, of course she didn’t care if he used the desk or not and he knew it, she stood looking over his shoulder as he commed the shipyard.

“What you want, oh Brennen what now? Order more, big discount, pretty sure.” Hardigan stuttered, as Saya almost laughed out loud.

“Hardigan, you old pirate, I’m going to take you up on your deal, I’ll order three new A class Marauders and you give me a big discount, just like you said.” Julian said loudly.

“I said discount, maybe not so big but still... “He started and Julian started to laugh.

“Ok, three A class with usual stuff, maybe 4.1 million each, good discount, my word good here, see?” he stammered, as Saya nodded in agreement.

“Good, you’re a good man, Hardigan, we have a deal, and maybe just maybe more later, maybe even more C class. You treat me good, I treat you good.” Julian said, wandering why he was starting to talk like him, he just smiled.

“Ok, good business then, three A class, maybe 4 days delivered then we talk about new C then, ok?” he asked and Julian said yes and closed the coms.

“So that was your pirate friend.” Saya asked smiling. “Doesn’t seem like the brightest light in the house does he?” she asked smiling. Julian was quick to remind her that Hardigan started out as a pilot but he was so bad they moved him into a desk job. If it wasn’t for his likeable nature, he might just have been spaced for loosing so many ships, but they didn’t want to loose him, so now he was a successful businessman, in pirate terms at least. She nodded, in pirate circles loosing a lot of ships was not a way to a long life, for sure.


“Let me make another call or two and the desk is all yours.” Julian said and Saya walked around and sat down, he was really enjoying himself, and she was more pleased then she could ever let him know. Julian called a couple people about the new P he had in his ship, there were several people who told him to keep an eye out for one and it only took a few minutes to find someone who wanted it right away. The price was agreed to and Julian told him he could pick it up at the station. He closed the link and started again, this time selling the new Buzzard Vanguard he was carrying. He was determined to empty out the carrier before going back out and it didn’t take long to do it. It wasn’t even lunch time yet and he had made some serious deals, now he was beginning to see how Elena felt, he thought with a big smile. Finally he stood up and waved to the desk.

“Its all yours,” he said with a flourish.

“After all the credits you just made I’ll feel bad seeing what I’m doing here.” She said with a wink. He gave her a quick hug and started for the door. It was too late for a big trip today, so maybe just do something local, he thought and jumped into Elena’s Fortune to visit some friends.

As he entered the system he didn’t see any fighting going on, so they were probably just sitting around waiting, he remembered the last time he came through here and switched to Tach 2 channel and said,

“And don’t any of you think about firing on THIS ship.” He said loudly as a few voices started chuckling in the distance.

“I heard you lost the P, what a bad deal, but I see it didn’t slow you down any.” Brad said laughing.

“Nope this is the new C class Marauder, look well, the pirates will be selling these soon and you just might see one or two.” Julian said slowing down by the trading station.
“It was very nice of you to buy one just so we could see it and maybe get a little practice,” Joan said as Julian jumped in,

“Don’t even consider it, ever, this is my new baby so behave yourselves.” He said laughing.

“What are you doing in here today, trying to put us out of work?” Joan asked, and Julian said he had spent a big part of the day working at his station and just thought he’d swing by to say hello, and maybe see if any good pirate ships were in Split Fire.

“Well be very careful, there’s a lot of traffic in and out of there and there’s a pair of Carracks patrolling from there up through here and into Farnams Legend.” They warned.

“A PAIR, together?” he asked and they said yes, they saw them together once and then separate but close to each other a few times, it was making their job here even more dangerous.

“Definitely stay away from those if you can, even 4 fully loaded falcons would have a hard time with a Carrack, and there isn’t a very big dead spot in their firing arcs either, so don’t even think about it.” He said seriously and they all chuckled and said ok. He pulled over by a big asteroid and switched channels; it was time to see if he could find out what was going on.


Chapter 26: The Legion


Julian gave Ben a call again, if anyone would have an idea what was happening he just might. It buzzed a few times and was answered.

“Hello, there, haven’t heard from you in a while. Nice girlfriend there, bud, good job.” Ben said laughing while watching another screen.

“See, everyone says that, you need to be more original.” Julian said laughing.

“Oh, I saw her out with you on the news, they really like you over there don’t they?” he said not expecting an answer.

“Ok, enough small talk, I need a little info, can you tell me why the pirate community has started making all these big moves lately? I mean we knew these guys for years and stealth was their thing, now their all out in the open, and traveling in big groups. It doesn’t look good.” Julian said seriously.

“OH,” Ben said quietly, “That would be the Legion.” He said without looking around at all. Julian snapped to attention,
“The Legion, what’s that?” he asked.

“Well if you want to quote Harmony, He says...” Julian cut him off quickly.

“Harmony’s back? What’s he doing now?” he saw a little upset he knew this guy and he was forced out of the clans years ago for starting trouble.

“If I could FINISH, I’d tell you.” Ben said loudly.

“Harmony says its time all the pirate clans unite under one leader, and then they can show the major houses that they mean business and then they’ll negotiate for deals with all of them. If it works out, then no one will be firing on pirate ships because they’ll all have business deals with them. It would mean peace between the houses and the pirates for the first time.” He said in closing.

“And who will be the new super pirate leader?” Julian knew the answer to that.

“You know him as well as I, did you ever meet a pirate who could talk someone out of their loot before?” Ben said smiling.

“He’s got a gift that’s for sure, but to be honest, if he can pull it off this might be good for everyone.” Julian said smiling.

“Or start a war with all the houses.” Ben said and the link went black, this was NOT good, he almost knew what was going to happen next, but he didn’t want to think about it. He turned around and without saying goodbye to the capture team, went straight to Argon Prime.

Julian pulled up beside Argon One just as Ban commed him he was all smiles for the first time in ages and Julian really didn’t want to do this, but.

“Julian my friend how are you today? I have all those weapons you donated on ships now and except for a few heavy shields we have on order, we’re in fine shape for the moment.” Ban said all smiles.

“Hello, Ban Can I come on board for a minute, I have something I need to tell you in person.” Julian asked and Bans face dropped quickly, he knew Julian well and he was not happy he had to be here right now. Permission was granted and Julian beamed right into his office, and Ban asked him to sit down.

“Alright, Julian I can see that look, what did you find out today?” Ban asked seriously. Juliann apologized for showing up right when things looked so good but he had heard why the pirates had suddenly started making all these big moves. Ban stopped him for a second and activated bug jamming and sealed the room, being head of Argon Intelligence was a stressful job, Julian could see.

“Alright, now what’s going on, and where did you find out?” Ban asked. Julian said he questioned Ben and he asked around a bit. An old pirate called Harmony was back and was convincing all the pirate clans to unite under him. He wanted to build an army that the major houses would have to deal with then offer to sign deals so that pirates and all the houses would be at peace for the first time. Ban thought for a second and got a big smile, he didn’t know why Julian was so upset, this could conceivably work out better than ever before, but something else was bothering him he could see.

“I agree that if it works out that this could end years of bickering with the pirate clans, but if it goes bad, then all the clans will have a united military for the first time, and not a single of the major houses will be safe.” Julian said. Ban disagreed, even with all the clans together, they didn’t have a navy big enough or well armed enough to war against a major house, any of them, he knew well that the 6 clans had warred against each other for years and their recourses were always low, they certainly weren’t a threat to argon. Julian stood up and started pacing the floor, and Ban waited for him to decide to speak.

“For one thing, there aren’t 6 clans, there are 8, and they don’t always war against each other. The Yaki are the top of the line pirate technology guys. If its high-tech, they build it and they have a number of sectors that were once unexplored that they own and have factories in now. They supply the high tech and the other pirates supply the money, together they can whip out ships at record speed and with the very best quality. There’s also a pirate HQ, far from all the major houses where the pirate clans all meet to work out their gripes, what you see is only what they want you to see, where do you think I’m getting the Marauders from? Yakis... And they told me no problem; they can have the three you want ready to be delivered in 4 days. Could the argon shipyard say that?” he asked as he sat down. Ban was not smiling nearly as wide now, he was working with outdated info and that alone was upsetting, but now the word was out he had some serious things to think about, and at least one other agent he wanted very much to have dragged in here by his throat. He stood and shook Julian’s hand and thanked him for the good info, he was once again on the cutting edge of the intelligence game, and Ban was glad he was on his side.

Julian nodded and beamed back to his ship and went home, this might all be just a lot of trouble about nothing, and he hoped that Harmony could pull it off. Of course it would put the capture team out of work but it would give Argon new places to buy ships at better prices and rip the rug right out from under Commander Brighten, he thought smiling.

krm398
20-11-2007, 12:40 PM
Only a few more parts left..and some mystery revealed..