Just when you think you’ve got everything nice and figured out, and you’re actually ahead of the curve for once — as I’m now settled nicely in at Bakewell Point waiting for the mustering of the Distant Worlds 2 exploration fleet — something comes along and throws something into the works.
And, the Empire being what the Empire is, that something being thrown is usually a barrage of missiles, and the something doing the throwing is fucking Denton Fucking Patreus, Imperial senator and all-round nonsensically aggressive asshole, and invariably the first to reach for the ammo.
Yeah, I admit, me and Denton don’t get on (not that he knows me from Eve, so it’s more that I don’t get on with him while he presumably feels nothing about me whatsoever). But… In this case, what he’s doing is… Well, it’s more difficult for me to feel entirely contemptuous about. In this case, he isn’t using his sizeable military forces to coerce some defenceless backwater planet into ponying up inflated taxes, or returning loans at far over the odds in interest, which are some of his favourite pastimes. No, this time he’s gone to the Paresa system and taken explosive issue with the forces of Nova Imperium, the idiot bunch of populist fuckwads currently trying to turn the Empire into a xenophobic, isola… into an even more xenophobic, isolationist state, and subject us all to autocratic rule. I mean worse autocratic rule than we’re already under. Autocratic rule by a blithering no-mark useful dipshit pretender to the throne, rather than autocratic rule by the legitimate autocrat actually entitled to sit on said throne.
This puts me in an awkward position. I’ve never been a fighter. The rank I hold with the Empire — that of (Utter) Count — I earned through relatively peaceful means. Trading, exploring, logistics, material retrieval, and the very occasional spot of surveillance and a hack here and there. I didn’t earn it through pew-pew laser fights, which are not my favourite pastime.
THAT SAID, this could be an opportunity to kick Nova Imperium square in the fork, and if I don’t contribute to that when I know I’m capable, I guess I wouldn’t get to complain when they take over and subject my Empire to fascist, totalitarian rule. Say what you like about Her Current Majesty, but she’s pretty easygoing as monarchs have historically gone — especially weighed against some of ours.
So while I detest Patreus for the belligerent knucklehead he is, I also can’t choose to do nothing when Nova Imperium is actually being confronted.
All of which means I have to return to Dvorsi, grab the Mouser and get it refitted for combat — something it’s not seen to any significant degree in quite a long time.
Let’s see… the guns point this way, right?