View Full Version : the saga continues part 4 (edited)

22-12-2007, 02:33 PM
Copyright: KRM398..Proffing: Novacat

Chapter 7: Hard Work, For a Purpose. Copyright: KRM398, Proofing: NovaCatt

Jake left the system a lot poorer than when he came in, but he was sure he could handle the pressure. After all, another two weeks and Sherri would be dropping a nice chip his way and that would help a lot. The sector taxes would be coming in again and he was sure he had as good a chance at bounties as he ever did, he decided to save every penny for the next few weeks, absolutely every cent, and after making the decision he was ready to start building up some cash, real quick.

He went back through Brennan's Triumph and into Danna's Chance when he saw three light fighters and dropped them like a bad dream. He flew around a little and called Alan to see how things were going and Alan was happy to hear from him.

"I put a down payment on MY new ship." Jake said proudly as Alan smiled and nodded, he didn't ask, but he knew Jake was doing very well and had a lot to work with. The fact he put a "payment" down said volumes and he couldn't wait to see what his nutty brother would come up with.

"Good to hear, will I be surprised?" Alan asked as Jake started laughing out loud.

"Only if you're breathing," he said and Alan smiled and shook his head, maybe he really was looking at a cruiser, but then that wouldn't surprise Alan that much, he had been warned.

"Well good luck then, a little short at the moment? I see you're talking about making payments." Alan said fishing a little.

"Yep, not as bad as the guy thought, but definitely short, I got him doing some repairs and getting it set up, so in a few weeks I'll be ok I think, but have to go, hard work ahead." He said and Alan just laughed and told him to be careful, and he nodded and went through the next gate.

Jake was working his way towards Light of Heart, he knew there was a lot of pirate traffic in these sectors, and he was on the lookout for anything he thought he could handle. He found a pair of Busters by the east gate and in a few minutes toasted them. He didn't get bounties for his argon law license here, but he did get all the loot from the wrecks and a good chance at a capture, which would go a long way toward his bill at the shipyard. He gathered his loot and jumped east again. He found a lone Falcon heading towards him and they didn't seem to want trouble, but he was ready. They went by and he swung around behind and started to close. It was probably a freight hauler for a pirate base, and he wasn't looking to start it, but then Jake was.

He hit him from behind with a good hard punch and the ship started to turn, true to form the big fighter was slow turning and Jake had no problem staying behind him. After a few good hits it looked like Jake was about to pop another one when the pilot saw certain death coming and bailed. Jake had to stop short to keep from running into the back of it, and he saw the pilot traveling towards the nearest station, he hoped he made it, he needed friends like this. He pulled alongside and added his codes and the big ship was his. He backed off just a tad and sent it orders to fly to Light of Heart and he followed it there for safety.

Jake had heard the stories for many years from his father and grandfather about captured ships. You always remove as much stuff as you can up front, then sell the ship. Jake wasn't fond of falcons anyways, they seemed old and slow and he was looking for some quick cash and never thought to check the ship until it docked. He removed the two HEPT's it had and several good missiles he could use and sold the fighter right there. To his surprise he got a really good price and he didn't ask any questions as he decided to get out before they found out their mistake. He flew out of the sector with a wide grin. He had a great day and he was sure if his luck kept up, he'd be good when the ship was ready. He flew right back to Alan's station to tell him this great story and how dumb the station had been.

"So they gave you how much for an old Falcon?" Alan asked as they sat and ate a bite together.

"Double what I thought it was worth, and believe me, I didn't wait to explain either." Jake said laughing as Alan sat dissecting all this info.

"Don't start by telling me to return all that money either, it was their mistake and I need the money, so I'm keeping it." Jake said as Alan finally started to smile.

"Ok, brains, what did you figure out?" Jake finally asked.

"You said it ignored you until you attacked and it was flying really slow and didn't give much of a fight?" Alan asked and Jake nodded and continued to eat.

"Did you scan to see what it was hauling?" Alan asked as Jake stopped to consider.

"Nope, just took the extra guns and missiles and sold it, why?" he asked as Alan sat with a big smile.

"I think your faction with the pirates just went UP," Alan thought as Jake was totally confused.

"You may have finished making a delivery that no one planned and was paid for it." Alan said laughing out loud as Jake thought, my word, a ship full of space weed or space fuel certainly was expensive that's for sure, maybe he should have checked, it might have been worth a lot more, but then I might have lost it too, he decided that he did the best thing and Alan agreed, but somewhere in Light of Heart there was a party going on tonight, he thought laughing.

Alan listened to his stories and told him about how well things were going there. They both laughed and in a little while Jake decided to go. Alan asked again what ship he was getting and he wouldn't say, he said he'd surprise him when the time came and Alan just laughed and let it go. He knew that if Jake was spending that much on a ship he was planning on being in it for quite a while so it had to be big.

Jake started home from Alan's station just in time to hit another pirate patrol traveling towards the east gate. It was more than he could handle alone and he waited until they started to leave and rushed in. He shot up a buster and a buzzard and got away before the bigger ships realized what had happened. He was all smiles and went through Brennan's Triumph and straight home. He had done a few things he wanted today, he saw his next ship and put a payment on it and made enough to put most of that back. With another week like this he might just be able to go get it, he thought, but this was an exceptional day and he knew tomorrow could not be as good.

The next day he searched for convoys and got one going to Danna's Chance, the captain said that the sector was starting to really open up and there was a lot of business going on there, so Jake was happy to see some good money being made nice and close. He escorted the convoy in and got the job of escorting finished materials back out but had to do some serious flying before he left Brennan's Triumph again.

They were almost to the gate when a patrol hit them and Jake was working at top speed to keep from losing any ships. He managed it, just barely, but the pirates lost 4 busters and a harrier and Jake heaved a sigh of relief when the last one popped. The convoy captain thanked him for such good work and he got a bonus for stopping 4 pirate ships himself, and his reputation grew again. He wasn't sure he could have done it with bigger ships, but then he made good money today and that was the name of the game, he needed another 1.2 million and he wasn't doing too badly with escort money and all the bonuses and he was still waiting on Sherri and his next 2% check from Danna's Chance then he would be able to see what was happening even better. The last chip from Sherri had been really nice and he was making about 100k a day in bounties, so he was sure he was going to make it, just a few more days escorting and a few more skipped meals and he'd just squeeze through, he thought with a big
smile and went to bed.

Jake was starved in the morning and had to get a good breakfast. If he was going to kill himself flying this week he was going to have to eat a few good meals to do it. After all 10 credits wasn't enough one way or the other on a bill the size he had, but a good meal might mean the whole world to him if he got busy and couldn't stop when he wanted. So he decided that skipping meals was not a luxury he could afford and had a good breakfast before going out to work.

He stopped by the BBS and found a mission for one going to Red Light, it was a small mission but it paid well and it seemed legal enough. He took it and they were in Red Light in an hour and everyone was happy. There he found a mission going to Danna's Chance again and he took it thinking he might save a few credits anyway by stopping at Alan's station for a bite of lunch, and he smiled to think he was being so frugal, but it was for a good purpose and he couldn't wait to see what the big monster was like in a fight, that's if anyone would fight with him, he smiled to think he could fly missions all over space and very few people would have a big enough ego to go up against something like that. He could start a whole new business, with things like sector control missions and convoy escorts right through pirate sectors. Maybe he was thinking a little big, but it kept him going all day.

Jake and his convoy went right through Brennan's Triumph and not a person said a word to him, it was rare, but the convoy captain said Jake was getting quite the reputation and he wasn't surprised, but Jake was, he just didn't say anything about it. They made it to the station and he was paid and called Alan to see what he was up to and he invited him for lunch, which was exactly what Jake was hoping for, they sat and talked and Alan was really surprised Jake was working so hard all of a sudden and he said so, but Jake just smiled and said that he just needs a good reason to work hard and he thought he'd found it. Alan was thrilled to see his brother being so hardworking suddenly and he didn't push him to see what he was getting, Jake made it clear that he would be one of the first people to know when he got it and Alan said that was good enough for him.

Chapter 8: Time runs out

Jake was thrilled the way things were going after a week he was going to the BBS shaved and clean dressed and with a tad of aftershave one of his friends had given him. If neatness says anything about you, he thought then he wanted businessmen to think he was an Admiral in disguise. After that thought he had to get a good laugh even if the people around him didn't know why, but he had it all figured out and another week like this, working 14 hours a day would just do what he needed and he was sure remembering the specs for the big ship, that he wouldn't need an apartment anymore after that. He was going to have a beautiful, traveling home and it would have TEETH, he thought and smiled as he accepted another mission to Three Worlds. This was a good one, with several ships and they were traveling through some of the safest sectors to do it, so he was all smiles, and Sherri was due to see him tomorrow, and he wanted to see that woman more now than ever before.

They were off and traveling when he got the call, Bolo Bo was on the line and said that his ship was ready. It was tuned to the max , at least that they knew how to do, and had turrets full of AHEPT's on it, and Jake was smiling wide, now he was told to come get it in three days or someone else was going to get it instead. He pleaded saying he was still a little short and Bolo held solid saying he wanted him in his station in three days for a meeting and they'd see. Jake was not happy and he was sure being 500k down was going to be the death of his deal, and probably his deposit as well. He finished the escort and ran to see about another but there wasn't anything he could do here, so in defeat he started back towards home.

He stopped at the next trading station but again there wasn't anything he could do that was worth his time. He needed at least 6 high paying jobs and he wasn't having any luck finding them. He turned to leave when a guy walked up smiling.

"You're Jake Brennan, right?" he asked as Jake just nodded.

"I recognize you from the mercenary station bar, listen, I'm in a pinch here, we have a mission going on and we're like 3 guys short, some morons got hammered and are in jail and we could lose a big contract for argon if we fail this, so would you be interested in doing a mission with my group? It'll pay big time and you'll get good reputation with argon and the mercenary guild too, how about it?" he asked seriously and Jake swallowed hard. It was an answer to his prayers, sort of but he had said the magic words, good rep and great pay and Jake accepted.

"You do know how to use that right?" he asked looking down at Jake's new gun and Jake just nodded and he smiled,

"Good, because you'll need it, we have to do a rescue mission from a pirate base, and we're going to assault it with 12 guys, well, 10 guys now. I'll have you stand guard on the ship and keep everyone away until we find the agent and get back on board, its time so let's go." He said and Jake followed him to the docks and into a corvette sitting there. He sat down as the big ship pulled out and recognized at least one or two guys from the station that night. They didn't seem too impressed with him, and he was sure they had worked together many times, that makes him the new guy, and he'd have to prove himself before they could learn to trust him.

The ship started to zig and zag and in a few minutes the guys were told to be ready, Jake checked his gun and it wasn't even set on high, but he adjusted it and checked to see it was in working order. The charge was good and he'd have lots of shots to use if he needed them and he was sure he would. He replaced it in his holster until the ship came to a slow stop, the words was that they were docking and there were two guards, the first guy was a monster of a man and he stepped up and drew his gun close to the door, it opened and he dropped the two guards in a second. The rest of the team rushed forward, and Jake stepped out gun in hand and watched them disappear into the station. In a minute another guard came running out and Jake hit him quickly and he went down. He waited again and what seemed like days was going by. There was a sound and he saw two guys running his way, he dropped beside the nose of the ship as they started firing, and he returned fire.

They were in open territory and he had a ship to hide behind, and he managed to hit one and he went down. The second turned and ran away obviously looking for help and Jake was sure to watch in his direction. In another few minutes there was a big ruckus as Jake saw the monster man come running out, with someone over his shoulder. Jake made sure the door was opened and as one man, the team rushed past him and he jumped inside just as the ship started to move again. He hit the emergency door button and the ship sealed almost as the doors of the station opened and they rushed out. The fight wasn't over and the corvette dodged and weaved and the turrets were firing steadily. The crew said nothing, and the agent they were after was in bad shape. It was obvious he was being beaten and tortured and argon needed him out or dead and he was lucky to be alive. In a few minutes the jump drive kicked in and they made it safely away, but when they docked it was at the mercenary base and Jake was
without a ship. He stepped out as the team, up until now very solemn and silent started yelling and laughing and Jake was slapped on his back until he thought he'd lose his breath.

"Not bad for a little kid," one merc said as his friends started laughing.

"New guy maybe, but not a little kid." The other said and they led him into the bar and they celebrated a mission well done.

Jake was impressed; these guys were ok, and now they accepted him as a friend. He was told their stories of how they were military that didn't like the day to day grind, or guys marked as criminals who were trying to get some reputation back so they could go home. They each had a story and he smiled as they told him theirs, it made him seem more like the little kid, the first guy called him than the new merc they gave him credit for. Finally one guy asked him why he was there and he just laughed and said he needed the money for a new ship, and they looked at each other seriously.

"You're a Brennan right?" one guy asked and Jake said Yes, but he wasn't using his name for favors, he was making it on his own and he was determined not to ask for help. At this several men there just nodded and they all smiled. He told them of the great ship he saw and that Bolo was holding it for him but he was still a little short, and a couple started to chuckle and he asked why.

"We get all our ships from Bolo, as do everyone else here, how short are you?" he was asked and he looked around and finally said he wasn't sure he wasn't paid here yet and they said "Yes you are, the second we dock, we're paid and that's why we all wait to cheer and celebrate, it shows a successful completion of a mission and Jake checked his account, he was still 150k short but it looked a lot better for sure. He got a ride over to the shipyard and Bolo was waiting all smiles, he shook Jakes hand and said he had just heard about the mission, and Jake had done very well, for a new guy. Jake was all smiles and he wandered how he heard so soon, and Bolo just said they were like family and what happens gets around quick. Jake told him he was still a little short and Bolo smiled, saying the teams often need a good solid backup, and if he would help them sometime, he could have it for what Jake had, and they shook hands and Jake was the new owner of a slightly used, never lived in,
Kha'ak frigate, and Jake decided to call it his mercenary assault vessel, and he smiled as it pulled away from the shipyard to horns and waves from a lot of his new friends.

Jake started checking it over and the computer was up and running so he got a good idea what he could do with it. It had 6 turrets and right now each had an AHEPT in it, but he had room for twice that may. It had a top speed of 115 but right now was doing about 90, and it was modified to hold 1 gig shields, 6 of them, but at the moment it had 2- 125 Meg shields on it instead. It had a big cargo area and since the Kha'ak don't care about amenities it was basically an empty warehouse inside, but that didn't bother Jake, he had plans and he knew exactly where to start. Right this second he had a very large corvette class with upgrade potential and he didn't think a lot of guys were going to want to mess with it even as is. Of course he was wrong and he soon found out.

Jake decided that he needed his fighter and a safe place to store this while he worked on it and maybe a little help, so he started towards Danna's Chance hoping for a safe passage on his looks alone, but not a chance. The first pirate to scan it saw the 250 Meg of shields and informed a few others, he was under attack before he passed the pirate base and he was upset. He turned the turrets on them and adjusted them so 75% were set to offense and 25% set for defense and it helped a lot. The turrets did short work of a few small fighters and mediums didn't do any better, but Jake was sure he'd run out of shields before he reached the gate, he was taking a pounding by missiles and the turrets were getting a few too, so they were throwing a lot at him and he was happy it held together this long, just as he jumped through to Danna's Chance.

The sector manager was livid, not only was there an enemy frigate in sector it was being followed by a few pirate ships as well. Alan got a call and ran out to see. He didn't know what the Bezany he'd do against this monster but the pirates he was sure of. Just then the comm.'s buzzed and Jake was on the link.

"Can you get these guys off me for a second, so the shields can come up?" he asked as Alan's eyes popped out, no wonder he was working 14 hour days, this moron bought a destroyer or something, and Alan laughed as he helped the turrets clean away the filth that seemed to cling to it at the moment.

A few minutes later Jake informed sector control he owned the frigate not to call argon in but a second later a Titan was inbound and Jake had to explain what had happened again. He knew what was going to happen next, he even relished it, but one by one the family called and either laughed a lot or ask him what he was thinking, and he said, "You just wait until I get this all fixed up, it'll be my own suite and I'll be living like a king." Everyone just laughed and he asked Alan if he could park it next to his station while he worked on it and he said yes, it was going to be a huge project, and Alan walked through it to see what he had in mind, he only needed a few thousand in equipment and parts, but the work itself was going to take a while, and they laughed and the big rebuild was started.