I'd been contacted by the family of one of the slaves I rescued, wanting me to drop in and visit them for a personal thank you. Boy of boy, of all the places to live - Adien, a TL7 anarchic backwater in G6, mildly (read: not really) noted for its hoopy casinos and, of all things, its forests. Hoopy - now there's a word you don't see very often these days. I suspect the current generation wouldn't ever know what it means.
So after finishing up some contracts I headed over to Adien. My routing computer highlighted all the illegal goods on the way, things I'd have to watch out for to keep my nose clean. But then I saw what I'd have to go through to reach the place. Some long jumps into some very high risk locations. Still, these families were usually quite generous in their desire to show their gratitude, so if I was careful I'd be OK.
Except I wasn't. I charged into Enriorar without paying too much attention. TL7. Dictatorship. No problem, I thought. I'd forgotten that Enriorar doesn't have many neighbours, and those it does have are mostly Anarchies. Lesson number 1: Pay attention to the neighbouring systems.
I arrived in-system and found nothing at the witchpoint, much to my surprise. I engaged my torus drive but was soon mass-locked by a pirate group, an aging Python escorted by a Sidewinder, a Mamba and a Wolf Mark II. No problem, I thought. I was still a fair distance away from them, and with my military laser I could possibly reduce the number if I was quick on the draw in a head-on encounter.
I thought I'd learnt this lesson before, but I've been forced to learn it again. Lesson number 2: Don't go head-on with pirates.
I had full shields and energy banks, and my armour was in pristine shape. What I had forgotten is that I've been running with a bus overload
on my ship for a while, trying to keep my ship weight down while still installing top-end kit. 5% bus overload didn't seem like much. But it got me. A series of hits to my shields caused an electrical buildup to occur, and with no way of discharging it the energy was passed down the line to several core systems. Injectors. Advanced space compass. Targeting equipment. And, more importantly, cloaking device. Lesson number 3: Bus overload warnings are important, so don't ignore them.
The pirates were soon dealt with and I made it to the station without anything else failing, all the while fuming over the coming expense. I could only fix the compass and targeting gear. For the injectors I had to drop down a class as they were the only ones available, and I hate not being able to inject my way past mass-locks or trouble. But the cloaking device...
I can only fix it where?! Diesanen? Which is where, exactly? I'm sorry, did you say over 100ly away?
I think it might be time for a colourful metaphor.