Thanks, Malacandra. I appreciate it. Here's another one.
Commander's Log Day 4
Ship: Cobra Mk.III (Edge of Awesome)
Equipment: Witchdrive Fuel Injectors; Fwd Frontier-Newton Yr1993 'Plasma Charger' Aft Kruger Mining Laser; Fuel Scoops; Scanner Targeting Enhancement; ECM System
Let me do some explaining about my situation. I was born the second son of a rich Onriran businessman. (I don’t know why I specify that, everyone on Onrira is a businessman at some level.) Although he spent much of his time in the Torus above the planet, I spent much of my childhood generally doing whatever I wanted on the planet or above it. I had a personal servant named Killian, who was fiftyish and doubled for my bodyguard; most every convenience that being a rich man’s son on a rich planet can get you, which is substantial; and an Adder fitted for atmospheric flight which I occasionally had Killian take into space to teach me piloting. However, I was the second son and therefore not in line for inheriting my father’s position and wealth. When I was sixteen, my father, at the ripe old age of fifty-five, handed the reins of his office over to my older half-brother, who was twenty-six, and began to enjoy himself in as many ways as money enough to buy a big space station will allow you to. Then, two years later, he came to his senses enough to wonder what I was up to. At that time, I had a Fer de Lance and was living it up in deep space, where Killian taught me real combat skills. At any rate, my dad decided to make me do something useful, so he shipped me off to Lave, where I was forcefully indentured to the UCIC and entered into Lave Academy Officer’s Training.
Now about the UCIC. As you probably already know, the Universal Cooperative of Independent Commanders is a group of money loving idiots who believe that the best way to make a pile is to make somebody else earn it. They give you a well-heeled Cobra Mk.3 and one hundred credits. Well-heeled in this case means that you have injectors, fuel scoops, a pulse fore laser, and a mining aft laser. Just so you don’t start thinking otherwise, they don’t equip you for free. That Cobbie costs upwards of one hundred and fifty-two thousand credits with the equipment, and in the end, you pay for all of it. You have to advance through five different levels of rank, from Cadet to Lieutenant Commander before they release you at the rank of Commander, and this rank is no longer honorary. Indenturing someone, they prefer to call it enrolling, costs around one hundred and fifty to one hundred and sixty thousand credits up front. The indentured unfortunate is then required to make the UCIC around fifty thousand credits or reach the rank of Commander before he is released from his contract. If the family of said unfortunate decides they want him back before the contract is met, they must pay another sixty thousand credits on top of whatever part of the fifty thousand is left. Needless to say, very few want them back.
Now to report on my current position. As you saw in my header, my name has a kill to its credit. Some idiot jumped me as I came out of witchspace, I forget what he was flying, something small and useless. Anyway, six or seven good and solid hits later he was a rapidly expanding cloud of carbonized space junk. (I have three lasers mounted on the front of my ship.) Also, I learned that war is always good for someone. Flying toward Diso on that same day, I saw a bunch of ships dogfighting. I swooped in and collected somewhere in the region of four hundred credits in luxuries and Witchfire. Now I have just been informed that the ECM system I purchased has been installed and so, if you will excuse me, Cadet Commander E. O. Awesome signing off.