“BTD Ganymede, this is Ealur Traffic Control. You are cleared for departure. Fly safe.”
“Ealur Traffic Control, acknowledged. And I’ll try.”
The tugs, who had towed my trusty bestower out of the docking bay into the departure pipe, shut down their tractor beams and let inertia take me out. As my vessel crossed the boundary of the stations environmental shield, the main engines sprang to life and filled the hull with their deep thrum.
‘Fly safe’ - ETC probably savored the irony. It had been about a week since I had rejoined the ranks of active capsuleers, but business hadn’t been good. I tried to tell myself that it was just a slump in the courier contract market - but truth to be told, I had grown weary of this line of work. This contract would be last one - a simple delivery from Akila to Amarr. The only interesting aspect was the minor detail of Akila being a 0.3 system - my first journey into low-sec since my ...accident half a year ago. Which is why I stopped in Ealur to exchange my Expanded Cargoholds for Warp Stabilizers, and let all extra hands leave the ship
However, the pipe turned out to be quite deserted, and after the first two jumps Aura was able to reduce the tranquilizer dosage in my life support system. Two more jumps and I docked in Akila, greeted by an eager young dock master. I had the paperwork ready, and was able to undock again within minutes.
What the... - a new name showed up in the Local list - -9.8 security status, not too promising...
...but I needed to get this cargo out. If not for the reward, than for my self-esteem. Warp drive engaged, I made best speed towards the gate - but my warp bubble collapsed just one klick outside of jump range - time enough for the pirate to lock me up and drop a volley on me. My shields dropped by 140 points, then the gate fires and yanks me to temporary safety.
I knew he’d follow me as soon as he could, so I wasted no time aligning towards the next gate. Eyes glued to the speed readouts, I iniated warp.
The gate fired - my pursuer was here. He acquired a target lock - and I entered warp.
westerferer > boo
westerferer > stabs
Druur Monakh > Sorry mate. Armor against weapons. Stabs against scramblers.
Now the race was on, towards the exit of the pipe. He was just seconds behind me, but whatever he was flying didn’t seem to align much faster than my hauler. One last jump, and I emerged in CONCORD-protected Ealur. In my excitement, I almost forgot to pick up my crew at the station.
It was good to be back.