Sleek, Agile, Probably Dangerous

p, li { white-space: pre-wrThis was a [This is a submission to the Elite: Dangerous roleplaying forums, where posters with a taste for RP can introduce the characters they’ll be playing in the game.  This is my intro for Cait Kryos.  Roleplaying isn’t mandatory, of course: you can just play E:D without any characterisation at all – but for me, a space game, or any game, really, that doesn’t predefine a character for you and slot you into a predetermined storyline is a rare thing.  So when I find one, I want to take advantage of it.  And while E:D doesn’t (yet) include a built-in character creator along the line of EVE Online’s highly detailed model, that only means there’re no limitations at all.]
That? It’s a wreck. You don’t have much of an eye for ships.
Pfft. Well, I guess you don’t have much of an eye for pilots, either.
Yes, it’s mine. More’s the pity. What? You want me to be proud of that bucket? Lemme tell you something, okay? You see all these hooligans sitting around here? You have miners, traders, explorers, wanderers of all sorts. Well, this crowd, they’ll all tell you how much they love their ships. How their ship’s like the spouse that really understands them, you know? Or how their ship’s the only home they’ve ever really known. Or how… Oh, I dunno. Der-de-der-de-ship. Well, maybe they’re right, at that. Look up there. Harbour full of ships; some really nice ones. Maybe they do feel that way about theirs.
No. No, I don’t feel that way about mine.
Yeah, fine. If you’re offering. Rum, please. With some of that… whatever that goo is that passes for cola round here.
Sure, yeah. Salve. Skal. Sun and rain. Whatever.
So no. I don’t feel that way. I challenge anyone to feel that way about a Sidewinder. Stupid name, to begin with. Suggests, I don’t know, sleek, agile, probably dangerous… Are sidewinders dangerous? I’ve never seen one, not for real. No, the snake, obviously, not the… I fly the ship, and that’s not dangerous. It’s agile enough to dodge an asteroid, given enough notice.

I’ve had arguments. People reckon they love the Sidey. One guy once said to me, “Cait,” he said, “You can’t beat the Sidey. It’s an excellent little all-rounder.” He was trying to sell me one. And that’s the weird thing, see? It’s such a great ship – but seems everyone who’s got one is trying to sell it. Tells you something, nyet?

Hey, you wanna buy a Sidewinder? No? You amaze me.
I was on an industrial freighter for a while. The Evening Wind. Handsome ship, as these things go; and fast, too, for a truck – skipper had made a lot of special modifications. Those were good times. I made some good friends. Like family, really. We were traders, just… ‘Scuse me… Just, you know, wandering around, picking up stuff here, dropping it off there. We had a sideline in resource extraction: if we had nothing else to do we’d potter round and splinter a few rocks, pull out whatever we could find and sell it off at the industrial stations. It was good. Peaceful. In all that time we had three run-ins with thieves. First two times the skipper ditched the stuff; just let them take it. Said it was safest. I liked him: he always put us first.
Yeah, I’ll have another; since you’re offering. Make it a double. Clink.
Actually, I don’t drink much, as a rule. No, really.
Those first two robbers were decent – or as decent as robbers can be. They took the stuff and left it at that. Guess we were lucky. Skipper reported them, but you know the system authorities aren’t going to do much. We settled for telling ourselves they’d bite off too big a chunk one day. One day, they’d target someone who could defend themselves.
Third time… Not lucky. We were taking freight out to a new colony. They were struggling – they’d run into some nasty local virus no-one’d seen before, and there was a wicked contagion running over the place. We had medical supplies on board, stuff that people were depending on. We dropped out of witchspace, started the turn out to the colony. Ship was still vibrating from the frameshift recalibration when we were pulled out of supercruise. Just like that. Never seen an interdict like it, before or since; not even by the police. The guy demanded our cargo, and it was the first time the skipper ever put freight over crew. Last, too, as it turned out. But people needed the stuff, see? That cargo meant lives. So he dodged. Or tried. He played for time, played the compliant mark, pretended confusion until the frameshift had time to spin up again. Reckon the thief didn’t expect such a quick recal from such a big boat. So we’re off, ploughing full-speed to the colony, and the thief’s eating our sparkly wake. And we thought that was it.
We actually got to the colony. We actually set down at the colony. We never… You wouldn’t expect it, would you? You wouldn’t expect the guy to have trailed us all the way there, to follow us into atmo, and attack us on the godsdamn platform.
I was lucky; kind of. They’d sent me out to sort the paperwork with the quarantine teams; so I was a few hundred metres away and indoors when it happened. Loads of ruckus; lots of noise and alarms. There’s this rumble under my feet, through the walls. And that was it. That was the Evening Wind. Local police and colony triple-A took the guy down – to this day they don’t know what possessed him to do it. But by the time they let me back to what was left of the ship, there was no-one else. They eventually dug them out of the wreckage, but there was nothing to be done.
I caught the contagion, in case you were wondering. It wasn’t pretty. They wouldn’t let me leave after the attack – said they hadn’t been able to complete the quarantine procedures properly. Bureaucrats. So they slung me into a quarantine dorm, where I had plenty of opportunity to pick up their little plague, and six weeks of… well, like I said, it wasn’t pretty. By the time they got on top of it and conjured up a treatment, the population was down to a few hundred. Once the quarantine was lifted and I was declared cured-ish, I hitched out on the first ship pointing this way.
And now here I am: Cait Kryos, not-entirely-proud owner of one shabby Sidewinder, with a couple of thousand to my name, and far drunker than I normally am. I trade and mine a bit, I do… other things from time to time, if the pay’s good. And I just generally keep myself to myself.
So. You sure you don’t want to buy a Sidewinder?

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